Words from the Vineyard & At-Home Wine Tasting Date Night, Easter Tuesday
“I will not go.”
A son said this to his father when asked to go work in the vineyard. He later chose to go to work.
“I will go.”
The second son promised his father. But he did not go.
Which child would you want to be?
This is the first parable Jesus told after cursing the fig tree and His authority was questioned. Jesus likened the first son to tax collectors and prostitutes, and the second son to the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Those whom society deemed to be the greatest sinners would enter the kingdom of God first. Yet those who society deemed to be the most religious and faithful did not believe.
Then Jesus told a second parable.
“There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit. The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said. But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?
‘He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,’ they replied, ‘and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.’
Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit…” Matthew 20:33-44
Jesus makes it very clear God doesn’t want our religion. He wants our hearts. He wants intimate relationship with us.
So on this day, we add a bundle of grapes to the Palm Sunday altar – in remembrance of Jesus’ words and as a warning to be faithful & not reject the message of God’s Word. (If you don’t have grapes, you can use fake grapes – I found some at the Dollar Tree – or wine glasses).
Create an Intimate Evening for Two
To reflect on the message of the vineyard and celebrate Jesus as the Vine, have your own wine tasting date night at home. Set the scene –
- make sure the kiddos are in bed (if you have them)
- clean the house (magazines/books straightened, dishes stacked in the sink or dishwasher, toys put away in boxes, etc)
- turn off or silence cell phones and other tech devices
- dim the lights and light candles
- set out fresh flowers (or artificial) in a pretty vase
- pull out your fanciest wine glasses and nice dishes and place a tablecloth on your table
- play romantic music
Stop by your local wine store and pick up your favorites (we like California White Zifandel and White Reisling, but don’t be afraid to try new things) or ask the clerks for recommendations. I suggest trying at least one white wine, one blush wine, or one red wine.
Pick out some delicious cheeses from your local grocery store – I like to have a soft cheese (Brie) and a hard cheese (Havarti). Better Homes and Gardens has a great guide to pairing cheeses with wines. Grab different types of crackers – I like something grainy (like a whole wheat cracker like Triscuits or Wheat Thins) and something light (like a water cracker or Saltine). Don’t forget some delicious fruit – some suggestions include red and green seedless grapes, Pink Lady apples, Bartlett pears, etc. You could also try a fresh veggie platter like bell pepper slices, carrots, cucumber slices, and/or broccoli and cauliflower florets.
Try one of these yummy combos on a whole wheat, multigrain, or water cracker:
- Brie and a thin slice of apple. Drizzle with honey and cinnamon.
- Fig jam, Havarti, and thinly sliced pear on cracker
- Cucumber, sharp cheddar, and paprika
- Aged cheddar, Dijon mustard, and chopped bell pepper
- Fig, Gouda, and chopped green onion
- Mozzarella, tomato slice, fresh basil, and a splash of olive oil
- Pepperjack and salsa
If you want to include dinner too, I suggest strombolis – a delicious inside-out pizza. Adam makes our own using a pizza dough mix, olive oil, pizza sauce, ham, and Italian blend cheese, but this recipe is very similar.
For dessert, try something light and chocolate-y like a chocolate pudding cake, a chocolate mousse, or just split a delicious thick, gooey chocolate chip cookie.
Nurture your spiritual intimacy: Read and discuss the two parables: Matthew 21:28-46 and Luke 20:9-19. Then read John 15:1-17 about Jesus being the True Vine and the Father being the Master Gardener. Pray together – and I highly recommend holding hands and praying over each other.
End the evening with some physical intimacy –
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth – for your love is more delightful than wine.” Song of Songs 1:2
“Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my beloved among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade,and his fruit is sweet to my taste. Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love.” Song of Songs 2:3-5 “How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume more than any spice! Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain.Your plants are an orchard of pomegranates with choice fruits, with henna and nard, nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, with every kind of incense tree, with myrrh and aloes and all the finest spices. You are a garden fountain, a well of flowing water, streaming down from Lebanon. Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread everywhere. Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.” Song of Songs 4:10-16
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