Sour

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Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry! Isaiah 5:1-7 (NRSV)

This is not your typical love song.

A vineyard is a special kind of gift. It is a creation of a home. Vineyards would provide some Ford provision for the family and a source of income. Digging a vineyard was like proposing a new family business.

Vineyards are not for the fainthearted. One business expert writes,

“Patience is a virtue — especially in the wine game. It takes at least two years for a vineyard to produce fruit and four years for the delivery of the first bottle of wine. If selling your wine is your dream or you are hoping to expand, you may want to buy grapes from elsewhere until your new properties yield fruit.”

So, perhaps like a good love song, there is challenge and no promise of quick and easy results. It takes patience and perseverance. It takes faithfulness.

But for all God’s faithfulness, his kingdom only produced sour fruit. Not only does this reflect on the land and vineyard, it ultimately reflects back on the one who created this vineyard in the first place. Any wine made to provide for the family would be rejected and the family reputation destroyed. With the reputation gone the only way for the family to survive would be to abandon the vineyard and start over.

If we are God’s vineyard, why does he keep giving us second, third, twentieth chances? Why does He not remove His blessing from us and just start over? Because of His love. God does not give up on us because His love is greater than all of our faults. He knows that sour grapes do not become sweet with harshness but only through kindness. This Advent season, in the midst of the cynicism around us, can you recognize God’s faithfulness.

  • Where has God shown you patient love?
  • How can you show God faithful love in return?
  • Who else in your life do you need to show patient, faithful love?

Amazing love, how can it be

That You my King would die for me

Amazing love, I know it’s true

It’s my joy to honor You

In all I do I honor You

Sunday December 4, 2016

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