Luke and I had the good fortune to join some friends at Contessa Winery for their 10th Anniversary Celebration. For 10 years now, Tony and Liz Peterson have been creating their own wines. First they had to buy grapes from other vineyards, now they grow their own. As I chatted with friends, my eye was drawn to a stack of boxes in the basement labeled "New Vintage". This sent me into blog mode. What a funny oxymoron: New Vintage.
Sylvia's first Communion is more on the "New" side than the "Vintage". She's still sweet grapes that haven't been crushed yet. Life will certainly crush her a bit, but I hope she remains sweet and fruity as long as she can!
Isaac's Confirmation is New Vintage. "Fruit of the vine, and the work of human hands." Isaac is just beginning to form his life with the sweet fruit he produces by being a branch of Jesus the Vine. His life is already being mixed with the sweetness of blessings, just like the sugar the vintner adds to the grapes. In choosing to become a disciple of Christ, he welcomes the gifts of the Holy Spirit like the vintner's yeast. They will expand his Knowledge and Understanding, and fill him with Piety and Good Counsel. He will swell with Fortitude and be broken down again in Fear and Awe of the Lord. These gifts will create in him a new vintage, a new creation that can't be contained within an old wineskin. He will become whole and increasingly Holy.
And me. I'm feeling like the New Vintage that was in the boxes at the winery. I had a turn being sweet grapes. The sweetness of blessings have been added. The yeast has worked it's miracles, and the Spirit's Gifts continue to change and bless me. I have been pressed hard, with only the best parts allowed to remain. I have left behind chunks of who I was to become something even more beautiful. Me. Reminiscent of the grapes I was born, but so much more. Now, as I look to all the other bottles lining the shelves, still changing on the inside, I am reminded of the words of the song that reminds me of being with my Creator..."For you O Lord, my soul in stillness waits. Surely my hope is in you...."
New Vintage. My sediment still falls to the bottom of my bottle. God has not finished curing me yet. But one day, I will be poured out in a lovely glass for my Creator to enjoy.