Thursday, September 25, 2008

grapes and wine

I was standing in the sandwich shop near my workplace the other day.  They also sell wine there and have a large inventory.  There are bottles of wine from around the world in the store.  While the inventory of wine is constantly changing, I suspect that some of the bottles have been there for some time.  I guess that's one nice thing about a wine inventory.  It doesn't spoil due to extended shelf time.  It occurred to me that something has to happen to the grapes to extend their lives.  You can't leave a bunch of grapes on the shelf very long before they shrivel and spoil and attract insects.  But there is a process by which the grape juice is transformed and has a built-in preservation due to the chemical change of fermentation.  Interestingly, the key to grapes becoming wine is a third party...yeast.  Yeast is a simple fungus that occurs naturally around grapevines.  It is the catalyst for the dramatic chemical changes that convert the temporary quality of grape juice to the more permanent qualities of wine.  Chemically, wine is very different from grape juice.  The yeast works to convert the sugars through a series of transforming chemical reactions into alcohol and, of course, this has a great effect on the taste and impact to our bodies.  The change is so great that the liquid needed a name change from juice to wine.
Jesus is something like the yeast.  He is all around us and is able to act on us, as we allow Him, to transform our nature from something temporary to something permanent.  And just as the flavor of every bottle of wine is unique so will you be!
Luke 22:17-18Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, "Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I'll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives."
Rob Smith

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