wine: our union and communion with God and others

Can the best wine be kept for last, as it was during the wedding feast at Cana? is it possible for youthful champagne fizz and spark to mellow into the finest wine of all? I didn’t used to think so.

Tender, fresh picked fruit, full and abundant, often gives way to slim pickings and sour grapes of wrath. Too many storms render future wine unpalatable.

Too much pressing and crushing bruises fruit beyond repair. Too little attention paid to scorching heat of fiery days shrivels grapes without covering and shade.

And yet, a harvest is still salvageable. A poor season (or decades) of spoilt fruit, cannot prevent a miracle intervention from God in our marriage. There is reason to rejoice. Bitterness can be overcome. We can taste the memory of those early years in the richness of maturity.

Love may have been held back but when enhanced by Holy Spirit it can break through all barriers. Our relationships can flourish again and produce wonderful wine over time, even when the barrels look scarred and dry, cracked and lined.

God does His best work in the turmoil of our emotions, in the aching brokenness of our hearts #love #wordsofjoy Click To Tweet

Because the darkness deep within our souls, concealed from our eyes, is where God does His best work: in the turmoil of our emotions, in the aching brokenness of our hearts, in resistant attitudes and hard shells.

There is no carapace we erect that God cannot crack. He penetrates earth. He penetrated the very gates of hell for us. His power is unlimited. His grace is superabundant and freely given, available to all.

There is no carapace we erect that God cannot crack #faith #hope #wordsofjoy Click To Tweet

All it takes to ignite a fresh fire of love in our hearts is a willingness to work with God, to cooperate with His hand on our lives, see the need we have and let Him shine Holy Light on our circumstances, minds and hearts.

That’s just a beginning, of course. It opens doors for God to work. It paves the way for lasting change to happen, for miracles to take place and for relationships to be restored. Though we will have a fight on our hands. Victory is rarely wrought without a struggle.

“Don’t run from the struggles of marriage. Embrace them. Grow in them. Draw nearer to God because of them. Through them you will reflect more of the spirit of Jesus Christ. And thank God that he has placed you in a situation where your spirit can be perfected” ~ ‘Sacred Marriage, 132-33’ in ‘Simply Sacred: Daily Readings’ by Gary L.Thomas

When we remember how Jesus was crushed and pressed for our transgressions, and realise the pressing we experience is like grapes beginning to become fine wine, then our crushing doesn’t feel as constraining as before.

We can learn to savour a sip or two when we pause to reflect on what God is doing in and through us during the crushing process.

all it takes to ignite a fresh fire of love in our hearts is a willingness to work with God #love #relationships #marriage #wordsofjoy Click To Tweet

The Word incarnate moves in our minds and hearts, sanctifying and loosening us to love with greater freedom than before. We are made for relationship with God and one another but only see it in its fullness in Christ.

In union and communion with God we can taste the wine of our own soul union and communion with one another, enhanced by gratitude, blessed in the taking, breaking and sharing of life’s daily bread together.

In union and communion with God we can taste the wine of our own soul union and communion with one another #marriage #union #wine #wordsofjoy Click To Tweet

As we celebrate Holy communion, may we have the wonder of our union with Christ and one another on our mind. May we allow the sweet wine of God’s grace to mix freely in all our relationships, our loving and giving, graced by Jesus’ incarnation with us.

**this is the month for love and romance and it’s also Marriage Week in the UK from February 7th-14th. You can find helpful pointers for strengthening your marriage here**

10 thoughts on “wine: our union and communion with God and others”

  1. Dear Joy,
    What incredible thoughts you have shared here:

    “In union and communion with God we can taste the wine of our own soul union and communion with one another, enhanced by gratitude, blessed in the taking, breaking and sharing of life’s daily bread together.”

    Your thoughts of being pressed, like grapes when they are made into wine, is such a beautiful picture. But then to take those steps further and to bring the wine into our communion with God, also, brings such a depth and reminds me of the “mystery of marriage” that Paul speaks of in Ephesians. Oh may I step back, and let the Lord show me the gifts contained in my marriage that I might not have seen before! Thank you for these healing thoughts. Love and Hugs to you my friend!

    1. Dear Bettie, my heart says amen to your prayer to be able to “step back, and let the Lord show me the gifts contained in my marriage that I might not have seen before!” So much can get lost in the minutiae of our days, the humdrum, ordinary routines that actually have sacred echoes hidden within them. I feel blessed to have received These words, culled from having gained a healthier perspective on my marriage with the passing of the years. Though it certainly can seem very much a mystery at times! Love and hugs returned to you, my friend. xoxo 💜

  2. Dear Joy,
    I wholeheartedly agree with everything Bettie said. 🙂 Thank you for this encouraging post. I know sometimes marriage is hard esp. when we disagree, but God can rekindle the fire of love in our hearts as we work with Him. I love this: “As we celebrate Holy communion, may we have the wonder of our union with Christ and one another on our mind.” What a wonderful thought. Many blessings to you, dear Joy. Your posts are always inspiring and encouraging. Love and hugs! xoxo

    1. Dear Gayl, it’s lovely to see you here, my friend! I’ve missed being able to read all your blog posts, but hope to remedy that soon as some energy returns after the viral illness. I agree that marriage can be hard, especially with two wills being subsumed into one and two souls rubbing together causing friction now and then. Yet I have witnessed God’s sustaining grace and keeping power helping to overcome the weaknesses of both partners, creating a deeper soul union, harmony and stronger ties of love than may have existed before. We learn and grow in sharing the ups and downs of life together and in creating a family unit. I’m so glad you found a nugget that spoke to you. I hope to be encouraging if I can, even when discussing difficult topics. Thank you for your kind encouragement. Love and hugs! xoxo 💜

    1. Hi Liana, it’s good to see you here, my friend! I’m so pleased this was helpful for you. Blessings and love xo 🙂

    1. It amazes me what treasure God encourages us to mine from His word and what joy He receives when we seek a fresh perspective. I love how Scripture is bottomless in its ability to shape our thinking and our lives. It’s always a JOY to see you here, my friend! xo <3

  3. You paint such a great picture here of our union and communion with God and others, Joy. It especially touches me that God works His best “in the turmoil of our emotions, in the aching brokenness of our hearts, in resistant attitudes and hard shells.” So true. Thank you for this encouraging reminder. Love and hugs to you!

    1. Relationships are the crux of our existence, aren’t they? Yet they’re also an area of our lives where we tend to mess up the most. Marriage is a perfect training ground for learning how to get along with someone different than ourselves. It’s also a spiritual learning centre for all matters of the heart. I see God at work so much in the things you have highlighted here, Trudy. How thankful I am that He doesn’t leave us alone to stew in our injured feelings and brokenness! I’m so glad you were encouraged, dear friend. Love and hugs to you too! xo 💜

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