Thursday, July 21, 2011

New wine

Every now and then I read a random verse in the Bible and a new thought/insight jumps out at me.  This term I am studying the Old Testament Prophets and Writings and one of the first books we will look at is Isaiah.  I decided to be proactive and actually read it before we cover it in class, or at least start reading it.

I began on Wednesday morning (20minutes before the class started... yeah, I don't give myself much time) and didn't even finish chapter 1 before I had one of those epiphany moments which always seem so much more significant at the moment you have it than they do when you try to explain them later on.

Isaiah's message begins by addressing the wickedness of the nation of Judah and for some reason I was struck by vs 22.
       "Your silver has become dross,
              your wine is mixed with water."

My mind somehow made a jump to Jesus, at the wedding feast in Cana, performing his first miracle by turning water into wine and I had my epiphany.

Isaiah is describing how God's chosen people, the best of the best, the 'choice wine' one might say, have ruined themselves.  They have been watered down and contaminated beyond repair by their disobedient and wilful behaviour by turning from God's plan and following the ways of the nations around them.  There is no way to 'un-water down' wine that has been ruined in this way.

But... Jesus first miracle suddenly seemed to me to be a symbol of what he came to do.  He is taking the water, the worthless and ruined, and he came to turn it (us, his people) back into the best of the best, the 'choice wine'.  I had never really understood the meaning of this miracle in the past (and this may still not be what a real theologian gets out of it) but it bears new meaning and significance for me now as I consider the way he is taking my ruined little self and he is restoring me to be his 'best'.

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