National Drink Wine Day

Today is National Drink Wine Day! In our culture today, wine is good any day! It’s a delicious pairing with your favorite meal or dessert, it’s a nice nighttime companion to a good book, or it’s a hobby and if it’s your hobby you take it very seriously. When did our obsession with wine start? Wine is, surprisingly, a big part of the Bible so it’s safe to say, a long, long time ago. Today, we asked Rev. Bob Livingston to weigh in on wine in the Bible.

From Rev.Bob Livingston

Wine has had a fairly prominent role in Hebrew and New Testament biblical writings.  For example, in the Hebrew scriptures, wine is seen as one of God’s good gifts to humankind.  In Psalm 104, a psalm of praise and thanksgiving to God as the creator and sustainer of life, we read in Psalm 104:14-15: “You (God) cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and plants for people to use, to bring forth food from the earth, and wine to gladden the human heart…”  Then later, in the Book of Isaiah, we read about the Great Heavenly Feast of God, an inclusive banquet to celebrate God’s deliverance.  In Isaiah 25:6 we read: “On the mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined.”  

In the New Testament, in the story of the wedding at Cana recorded in the Gospel of John, wine is lifted up as a symbol of joy, celebration, and abundance.  As you may recall, at this particular wedding in Cana of Galilee, the wine was running low, which would have been a terrible humiliation and social gaffe for the bride and bridegroom. So Mary, Jesus’ mother, came to Jesus, told Jesus about the situation, and asked Jesus to remedy the situation.  Jesus did so by turning the water in six stone water jars into the best wine of the whole event, thus defending the dignity of this couple and family!  This was important, for as the Rabbis used to say, “Without wine, there is no joy.”

So I leave you today with a quote, one attributed to the great reformer, Martin Luther, who once said: “Beer is made by men, wine by God!”