Wednesday, July 23, 2008

What did Jesus Drink?

A few nights ago, I was drinking a beer with my dinner. For those you who care, it was a Sam Adams Hefenweizen, an unusually roasty, fairly hoppy wheat beer.

My oldest remarked that she had a conversation with some friends at her home school co-op regarding the “legality” of drinking alcohol for Christians. It seems that the friends were remarking upon the evils of alcohol, and how the consumption of it is condemned by God. I asked her what she said. She replied that she simply told her friends that her Mom and Dad often drank beer or wine and it seemed OK to her.

When I asked her what she thought the Bible had to say on the subject, she went directly to the heart of the matter. “Well…Jesus drank wine all the time, so it must be ok.” I must confess that at that moment my heart swelled with love and pride for my oldest offspring, for this is exactly the answer I had hoped for. We discussed it further, talking about the wine vs. grape juice controversy, and then moving on to other topics after I ascertained her friends’ reaction to her stance. I wanted to know if they ostracized her for her position. She said no, they just disagreed. I also found this gratifying, knowing how easy it is in certain circles for judgment to be meted out by those unqualified to judge. She was completely unfazed.

Over at Jesus Shaped Spirituality, a commenter dropped this lovely sentiment regarding things that Jesus had to deal with that we also have to deal with. I’ve never heard it put quite this way before, but it seems to be a remarkably pithy and accurate conclusion given the evidence of the story.

Charley states that Jesus actions at the wedding at Cana essentially stated “that booze is ok, and if you run out before the party’s over, get some more.”


Anonymous said...

You think if we sigh as we drink the last decanter
We're sensual topers, and thence you are ready to prose
And read your lecture. But need you? Why should you banter
Or badger us? Better imagine it thus: We'll suppose

A man to have come from Atlantis eastward sailing--
Lemuria has fallen in the fury of a tidal wave;
The cities are fallen; the pitiless, all prevaling,
Inhuman ocean is Numinor's salt grave.

To Europe he comes from Lemuria, saved from the wreck
Of the gilded, loftily builded, countless fleet
With the violet sails. A phial hangs from his neck,
Holding the last of a golden cordial, subtle and sweet.

Untamed is Europe, untamed--a wet desolation,
Unwelcoming woods of the elk, of the mamoth and bear,
The fen and the forest. The men of a barbarous nation,
On the sand in a circle are standing, await him there.

Horribly ridged are their foreheads. Weapons of stone,
Unhandy and blunt, they brandish in their clumsy grips.
Their females set up a screaming, their pipes drone,
They gaze and mutter. He raises his flask to his lips.

And it brings to his mind the strings, the flutes, the tabors,
How he drank with the poets at the banquet, robed and crowned;
He recalls the pillared halls carved with the labours
Of curious masters (Lemuria's cities lie drowned),

The festal nights, when each jest that flashed for a second,
Light as a bubble, was bright with a thousand years
Of nurture--the honour and the grace unreckoned
That sat like a robe on the Atlantean peers.

It has made him remember ladies and the proud glances,
Their luminous glances in Numinor and the braided hair,
The ruses and mockings, the music and the grave dances
(Where musicians played, the huge fishes goggle and stare).

So he sighs, like us; then rises and turns to meet
Those naked men. Will they make him their spoil and prey?
Or salute him as god and brutally fawn at his feet?
And which would be worse? He pitches the phial away.

The Scylding said...

Good post, and nice poem anonymous! Anti-alcohol arguments can often be traced to a deficient understanding of creation, fall and redemption. But that aside... I have not developed a taste for German / Belgium beers yet - mine is firmly entrenched in the flavours of Britain and Ireland (ie, Ales, Stouts and Porters), although I've been known to drink a pilsner from time to time... And the only real mass-produced product that I drink regularly is Guinness.