May 3, 2023 By dwayman

The Vine, The Wine, and The Sign

Linda J. Adams, February 21, 2021

The Arbor Church, Spring Arbor, MI

Linda is a candidate for bishop and is introduced here.

Since I grew up in this church, you will understand why I know almost nothing about wine. So, for much of my life, some the most prominent symbols in the Bible have been invisible to me. My limited experience with vino blinded me for many years to some rich, beautiful, and powerful images in Scripture.

Let me put it this way. In my family, grapes were for eating, or maybe for turning into grape juice, which we almost never drank except once a quarter at church in a tiny little Communion cup. One time my Grandma Beardslee served me home- canned grape juice—it was brownish purple, unpasteurized, pulpy and not nearly as sweet as Welch’s.

My earliest introduction into how wine is made came from an episode of I Love Lucy where Lucy and another woman stomped grapes in a giant vat. Remember this?

I pastored for 10 years in Rochester, NY, near the Finger Lakes with their famous vineyards. Down in Naples, I learned the proper way to eat a Concord grape. Walking through the vines, you pluck a little cluster of grapes off the vine, hold one grape up to your mouth and squish it till that succulent little thing pops into your mouth.