Lineage matters, but thirst makes greatness possible. Carried across oceans, these vines have rooted on this shore, to live always on the edge of death. The vinedresser prunes tendrils and branches lifted in supplication, rationing water so that the vines bear their fruit in deserts of constraint. Now the globed sweetness is crushed for you, the burst skin returned to the earth, feeding tomorrow. The wine in the dark oak waiting, rises at last in the cup now lifted to meet this human thirst. It sings this moment in the mouth of the living.
This Sunday’s texts from Daniel and Mark (and, perhaps, Hebrews) are quite apocalyptic in their outlook. This may lead most preachers to focus their attentions elsewhere—though post-election, many U.S. partisans may be feeling fairly apocalyptic themselves.
In the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, I have always been struck by the pronouncements of Philip’s boldness. As a young Christian, I was often called to this kind of boldness: to go out to the stranger and the foreigner and declare the good works of God.
But revisiting this passage I am struck by how weak Philip is--and how necessary this is to his ministry.