October 8, 2017
Texts: Isaiah 5:1-7
A Teaching for the 40th Reunion of the Eighth Day Faith Community
Good morning. I am honored to be with all of you this morning. I have never been so grateful for the lectionary scripture! It was indeed a challenge to know where to begin for this particular teaching! The first thing I thought of after reading both the Old and New Testament passages describing vineyards was a sermon Marilyn MacDonald gave years ago in which she had a drawing of the earth enveloped in blossoming grape vines-her interpretation of the words of Jesus in the gospel of John, “ I am the vine, you are the branches”. It is an image that has stuck with me all these years and I think of it when I am feeling despair for the world. So many words, images, and actions during my time at Eighth Day sank deep and continue to generate fertile soil for my life.
Now as for actual vineyards, I never saw one until I found myself with two adult millennials. In case you missed it, millennials love vineyards! I have been on my first-and-only wine tasting vineyard trips with my daughter, Gail, and son, Ben in Virginia, New York, and most recently, California. Last February, I was sitting in a lawn chair in Napa Valley, alone for a few moments. As I looked across the beautiful fields of succulent grapes, I was reminded of Dayspring and the years I attended retreats there when it was still functioning as a farm. What a joy it is to see the abundance produced from fertile soil. And for those who worked the fields and nurtured the vines, there is surely a contentment that feeds the soul.