Monday, January 21, 2013

New Wine

Friends of Faith
Last week I wrote about sticking with the familiar, brand names, the tried and true—even how we “get branded” by how we act and what we do.
But what about all of those brand names that deceive us with false advertising. What about when the brand DOESN’T stand the test of time, the test of God, or even the test of science? (“For more pure pleasure, have a Camel” and “Winston tastes good, like a cigarette should”) 

I find that I must often be tested before I really begin to search for, taste or seek the “better part.”
So do I continue to believe the “Marlboro” man? Or am I ready to look for healthier options, new wine, and new brands? (GNC, Weight Watchers and Curves.)

In Sunday’s gospel of the Wedding Feast at Cana (Jn 2: 1-11), Jesus miraculously delivered new wine—a wine which tasted better than the wine drank earlier that wedding day.
But new wine appeared only AFTER the wedding party was tested and ran out of wine. Then they looked to Jesus, through Mary, to find something better—then they sought new wine.

Imitators are deceptive—they look fine, until we finally taste the new wine. Then just like those brands that have been exposed (like cigarettes), the imitators, which spoke of pleasure and getting what an individual wants, they become tasteless because we now know something better. Then we wonder HOW we could ever have been so deceived.
Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested. Heb 2:14-18

Because he himself was tested, Jesus was given the power to destroy the deceptive. And through our union with Him on the cross we have also been given the power to expose the deceptions, to choose the new wine, to choose His help.
It is in our nature that if we see evil, we will choose good. But the devil likes to work in secret, hiding behind a sham of deception—just like the Marlboro man.

So what might we be missing, how might we be deceived by the devil in today’s culture? Is there a deception in the ideas that “sex” is free and “it is better to have no child, than to have a child who will live in poverty?”
Christ was born the poorest of the poor—in a stable—and he grew up the greatest of kings. Which kings, which leaders, have we killed and will we allow to be killed, because we don’t, won’t, or think it is too much of a burden to help our neighbor?

So I wonder as the anniversary of Roe vs Wade nears – is this the year God will fully expose the evils of abortion? Is this the year that the March for Life will expose Planned Parenthood and the devil working silently within, under the disguise of maternal health?
Will every ear hear the testimonies of those who have worked for, witnessed and been affected by the death of a child (like Abby Johnson)?

Will every mindset change and every eye opened to a “new wine” in the design and miracle of Christ’s creation brought by marital love that is faithful, given freely, and open to bear His fruit?
On December 14, 4026 children were killed. Yet we only heard about 26.  The other 4000 were killed by abortion, hidden behind closed doors, too tiny to bleed. Are we as shocked and horrified by the 4000 as we are by the 26 at Sandy Hook? Where is the advertising to keep the 4000 as safe as the 26?

Millions visit the Holocaust memorial, shocked and horrified by the 5.5 million Jews who were killed during WWII by the Nazi’s. Are those same visitors as shocked and horrified by the estimated 55 million innocent babies killed by abortion since 1973?
"Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee and so revealed his glory, and his disciples began to believe in him.” Jn 2: 1-11

Abortion: hidden and silenced by the devil; deceived as “Planned” parenthood; legalized by our government. As women we should be angered that someone/anyone could convince us that our babies are not alive inside of us (although science and those who have survived abortions can prove otherwise.)
Heavenly Father, YOU are THE new wine. Help me to taste and be filled with Your truth, by answering Your call, by doing Your will. May the sanctity of life be exposed and revealed like the taste of new wine. Surround all those who have been affected in any way by abortion with Your loving mercy. Give all young mothers the courage to turn to You for their peace and strength, and help me to do my part in taking care of those who don’t have the means to care for themselves. Amen.

It is my responsibility as a Christian to do what Jesus asks—just like the disciples did at the wedding feast—without knowing for sure what will transpire from that obedience.
It is my responsibility to taste the new wine—for I have the free will to drink when it is set before me.

And it is my call as a Christian to share the new wine with others.
May your week be filled with New Wine. Taste and see the good news of the Lord. Ps 34:9


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