Monday, April 10, 2017

The Good Wine

Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

The system is a cheat. Not news, I know.

Apart from Christ, people inevitably act in what they perceive to be their own best interests, and never mind the rest of us. The master of the feast at the wedding in Cana was telling the bridegroom the oldest tale in the human storybook.

Mushroom Sauce With That, Sir?

Who does it? “Everyone”. Get enough good wine in you and you’ll be so plastered you won’t notice the precipitous drop in the quality of the beverages you consume later in the evening. You’ll go home praising the event and the generosity of your host … at least until you wake up the next morning with a mouth that tastes like a pair of moldy socks.

My son’s cat’s veterinarian has a sign posted in his office reminding visiting pet owners that he may refuse service to any animal with which he has not established a relationship through regular checkups (at a cost of $300+ annually). Readers are advised that this is the policy of the veterinary association of which he is a member and that it is in the “best interests” of our animals, but we all know holding his customers hostage is really in the best interests of nobody but the vet.

These sorts of practices are perfectly standard in today’s world. Good wine first. Fine print. Hidden agendas. The “designer purse” that was made in China. Filet mignon liberally doused with mushroom sauce so you won’t notice your $55 steak is just beef scraps held together with transglutaminase, known in the restaurant biz as meat glue. Yum.

In the Day That You Eat of It

God does not do business like that: he’s not trying to slide anything by anyone. It was this way from the beginning:
  • The cost of tasting the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was clearly spelled out up front. “In the day that you eat of it,” God told Adam, “you shall surely die.” No subterfuge there.
  • The Flood had its own advertising agent, a guy named Noah who was a “preacher of righteousness”, along with the biggest gopher wood billboard the world of that day could possibly ask for. It was not false advertising.
  • “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” said the Lord Jesus. Anybody who’s tried him disagree?
God tells us what he’s going to do, and then he does exactly what he says.

That or, as in the case of the good wine, he does even better.

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