In last Sunday’s sermon, which was about Jesus turning water into wine, I quoted C.S. Lewis from his book God in the Dock:
God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and, with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice which will ferment and take on certain qualities. Thus every year, from Noah’s time till ours, God turns water into wine.
Yes, what Jesus did in Cana was an amazing miracle, but, tragically, we miss the daily miracles that we are invited to celebrate even in the midst of life’s challenging times. That led me in the sermon to the most amazing lesson we can learn from the art of winemaking.
In general, states like Georgia don’t produce very good wine because the soil in the South is too rich and we get too much rain. The best wine comes from the harshest soil. Champagne grapes literally are grown in chalk soil in one region of France. The better California wines are produced where it rarely rains and the vines are watered primarily by the fog. In Burgundy, France, where wine can sell for $2,000 a bottle and the communion wine for the Pope has been produced for centuries, irrigation and fertilization are against the law. What God, the sun, and the soil produce is the gift they celebrate.
Do you see the parable? Jesus worked a miracle in Cana. His mother intervened to keep the wedding party from being humiliated, and Jesus turned water into the best wine. The bride and groom, and even the wine steward, didn’t know where the wine came from, but the scripture is careful to note that the servants knew.
The poor and those who have lived close to the edge always have known because they have not been so distracted. They see the miracles those of us who have too much take for granted. We eat and drink without bothering to share, or even pausing to give thanks, because we fail to notice that from the toughest of places and the harshest of soil God has been producing the very best wines for us.
Perhaps if we were more attentive to the miracles that are already ours we would be less prone to forget why God sent Jesus to this party we call life. God sent Jesus into your life to keep the party going … forever and ever, world without end. Amen.
Rev. Michael Piazza