Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines;
he built a watch-tower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it;
he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes.
In my early years of gardening, I would get really enthusiastic early in the year. I loved breaking ground, getting it all smooth and prepared for seeds, and even planting the seeds. If I was feeling really energetic, I might even make my way through one round of weeding.
Soon, however, other pastimes snagged my interest, and it didn’t take long before the garden looked as if I had actually sown weeds there. Some of us probably know how this goes. At least some parts of the garden didn’t even yield wild grapes as the beloved’s vineyard managed to do in Isaiah’s telling.
The bittersweet metaphor of Isaiah’s poem speaks of the gift God has given to us – the vineyard of Creation, if you will; which we have managed to mis-manage to the point where it yields, if anything, the fruit of bitterness and ruin. Is God angry about that, or just heartbroken?
Funny how grapes, vineyards and wine are sucha common thread and theme in Scripture. Tomorrow, in our time of worship, we’ll poke around in this question of the gifts we have been given, and how it seems that we end upnot fully seeing the bounty of these gifts. But we’;; also speak of how the kin-pdom of God will be “given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. “ as the Gospel writer Matthew so beautifully puts it.
And, as if that weren’t enough, we’ll celebrate World Communion Sunday, a day of sharing the bread and cup of God’s fields and vineyards with Christians all over the world.
So, come and sit with us, at a Communion table that is 25,000 miles long. There is room for everyone. We worship at 10 AM. We are all hungry and thirsty for this.