The differences between our members at our small Episcopal church has me thinking a lot lately. Our small church is extremely active in our community, and despite our many differences we function much like a large family.
It has dawned on me, our experiences at local wineries have likewise bought us closer to so many people of differing walks of life. You see over a glass of wine, we tend to find our similarities much more than our differences.
We met two of our very best friends at a North Carolina winery. Our partners in wine on many of our weekend winery escapades. Its easy to notice that we are very different from Will and Pam, yet every time we're together we always have the greatest of fun times. We love those guys!
At our favorite local wineries, it's often many of the same locals hanging out. We have become friends with so many....and friendly acquaintances with others.
Some wineries will have local musicians playing and often small snacks available to enhance your experience.
The winery owners get to know their regulars, and often greet them with hugs. You see, most local wineries are small family owned businesses. They really appreciate their regular customers.
Not to mention the small batch craft wine!
All of this leads to a comfortable environment where people tend leave their differences at the door. A place where we all seem to be a little more tolerant, a little more open-minded, a little less demanding to get our own way. Where people naturally want to be social, naturally want to include and not exclude.
Just this past weekend we were visiting a favorite North Carolina winery and two young women were sitting near us by the fireplace. We struck up a conversation regarding the wine and food available and our conversations evolved including them as we all laughed the time away.
We likewise experience this social phenomenon in our local wine bar, and at weddings, but yet not in our local coffee shop, or Wal-Mart! Our first notion is to lay it all on the wine. It must be the wine. Right?
John 2:1-11 - On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern of is that to you and to me? My hour is yet to come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know from where it came from ( though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guest have become drunk.But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana if Galilee, and revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.
I'll speak to my interpretations of the above.
1. It's a wedding, this is a celebration of life.
2. Weddings are not rare, and at these weddings the people celebrate by drinking.
3. Jesus does NOT condemn the celebration of this wedding.
4. Though not His responsibility to do so, Jesus provides for the celebration.
The environment at your local winery, we believe often tends to mimic that of a wedding reception. There is wine, music, and happy smiling faces. The wine is only one factor of the whole environment. It's a celebration of life of which in turn leads us to fellowship.
Don't just take our word for it. Give our theory a try. Find your local winery on the The VinoWine App and join in on the celebration of life!