Here at the end of Peter’s letter to the church of Rome he calls on the Christians to try with all their might to live the right life with passion: 18 Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes! This applies to each of us. We must try everything possible to learn more about God. We can’t just plod along and think we’ll be different when we reach the other side.
A friend invited me to the Stellenbosch Wine Festival. Nowadays this is a big thing in our town. Last time I attended I was still a student, but then we attended for other reasons. Now my friend and I walked around tasting a little of all the wines from the top cellars (so sad you have to spit it all out, but if you don’t, you will soon get sloshed – which as students we didn’t really took note of). I really enjoyed listening to my friend talk about every little taste, because you see, Johan is one of the top wine makers in the country. He discussed each wine with a passion. As the wine slipped over his tongue, you could see the sparkle in his eye and his comments unlocked the flavours on my tongue as well.
At one stage we were standing at their cellar’s stand and as I tasted one of his chenin blancs again I got tears in my eyes. I felt really stupid, because why would such a full and flavourful wine on your tongue move you to tears! Well, I don’t have an answer. Maybe because the wine touched more than my taste buds. Maybe because I was enjoying it so much. Maybe because I was overcome by the unbelievable privilege that I had to taste more. Maybe because I knew the man behind the wine. I knew this wine was made with passion. The grapes were passionately cared for throughout the year to again produce another good one. Passionately Johan worked in the cellars and pressed and fermented and settled and mixed to get it right. And then softly, right at the end, Johan acknowledged that it was not just him.
When I ask him about this, his answer is something like: “to live from the Lord’s loving grace”. The Lord’s love and grace flow over us. We must know it and we must live it purposefully. Yes, it doesn’t always go well for Johan or for me or for you. Sometimes the wine doesn’t come out right and the next morning your head will be throbbing because there is too much sulphur in it. At times mistakes are made and medals aren’t won. But God’s love and grace cannot and will not ever be taken away from us. And this is what we need to remember to live in the love and grace of God every day.
Being able to make good wine didn’t just happen to Johan. No, he had to work hard, study hard and spend a lot of time to get where he is today. We must apply this in our lives and take Peter’s words to heart: Grow in … understanding of our Master and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Let’s take this last pieve of advice from Peter. Let’s take trouble to learn more about God. Let’s take trouble to learn what God wants. Let’s take trouble to fire our passion for life. Let’s take trouble to pass that love and grace on to the people around us so that the aroma of Jesus’ love and grace can also burst open in their lives.
Do you live in Jesus’ grace?
Can others see Jesus’ love in you?
Do you live life with passion?
Does Jesus’ love and grace burst open in others because of you?