Serving the Good Wine

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Bless them that persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Romans 12:14

As Christians, we are called to perform a delicate balancing act. When faced with evil, we are neither to surrender, nor to overcompensate.

“Hating that which is evil,” and “cleaving to that which is good,” we are to “overcome evil,” not by evil, but only “by good” (Rom. 12:9, 21).

In our times, the enemies of truth and freedom are poised for what they believe will be a decisive blow against the opponents of “progress.”

These would-be saviors of mankind are plotting the persecution of anyone obstructing their plans to subordinate God and nature to systems they foolishly think capable of satisfying the bottomless pit of our desires.

As we brace ourselves for the coming battle, let us begin by reflecting that the only one who can rescue us from false Christs is Christ himself.

We cannot choose when and how our Lord will act in this world. As we pray for his intervention, however, we can learn something from the first of his public miracles (Jn. 2:1-11).

Christ and his disciples are invited to a marriage in Cana of Galilee. When the wine fails, Mary brings it to her son’s attention, evidently concerned lest their hosts suffer a painful humiliation on what was to be a joyous occasion.

Jesus’s response is too enigmatic to constitute conventional reassurance. In faith, however, Mary directs the waiters to do “whatever he shall say” to them.

Consider the position of the poor waiters when this guest commands them to fill six water pots and carry them to the chief steward.

If part of a steward’s job is to assess provisions in advance, we can assume this one is a negligent man. By his own admission, he is winkingly familiar with deceptive tactics, such as serving “worse” wine once his guests are “well drunk.”

Though we are not told that he is tyrannical, we know that the chief steward possesses authority, and that he is not consistently conscientious in his use of it.

Surely, these waiters take a great risk by serving him bathwater, when he is expecting cheap booze.

As we confront authorities prepared to employ oppressive means to wicked or delusory ends, Christ is calling upon us to bless our persecutors by giving them the wine of truth and good works.

At times, our feeble attempts to respond may seem likely to get us in trouble without doing any good.

After due discernment of God’s will, let us have faith that Christ will turn the water of our efforts into “good wine,” capable of manifesting his glory in this age of paltry substitutes.

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