Wine glorious wine!
France is renowned for its wine production, and is generally acknowledged to produce some of the best quality wine in the world, as you will know if you have had the opportunity to travel through the country. You may also know that France is a vast size, and the climate varies from something akin to British conditions in the North, to Mediterranean type climate in the South. So the wines vary according to the region in which the vineyard is situated.
My son and his family live in Provence in the South of the country, and this region is particularly noted for its production of rosé wines, those from the Luberon (made famous by the book ‘A Year In Provence’) being particularly delicious!
The hot summer days make the consumption of rose wine delightful when it is previously chilled, and therefore more welcome in hot weather than red wine. When we return from a visit to our son, we usually come well supplied with our favourite rose wines, enough to last us until our next visit! Strangely enough, when we travel up to France from Spain, we also go laden with wine, this time a variety of “reds”, as Steve has actually found some red Spanish wines which he prefers to the French!
When we first started travelling through France, it was in the Summer and the Autumn. In Summer the vines were green and bushy, and laden with grapes ripening in the sun. In Autumn the leaves were changing colour, and people were busy harvesting the grapes and carrying them away in big cartloads to be processed. But there came a time when we travelled through in the middle of winter. I looked at the vineyards and thought “What has happened to all those beautiful vines?” Hardly anything could be seen in the fields but rows and rows of small, grey stunted plants, looking completely devoid of life! Of course they had already been pruned. When we are making our return journey in January, after our Christmas visit, we see the farmers in the fields starting their lengthy, meticulous pruning job, each vine as far as I know, having to be cut back by hand, the farmer patiently making his way from plant to plant, up and down the rows. Each vine has to be lovingly trended by the farmer, according to its own needs.
Jesus had a lot to say about vines – in fact He told us that He IS the Vine!.
“I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation, intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. – This is how my Father shows who he is – when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.”
JOHN, CHAPTER 15, THE MESSAGE BIBLE
Jesus talks here about being his disciples. He wasn’t just referring to the 12 men who travelled with him and helped him during his earthly ministry, but to everyone who would ultimately put their faith in him, become his followers,
He said, ” I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. NO one gets to the Father apart from me.”
JOHN CHAPTER 14 THE MESSAGE BIBLE.
He also said:
“I have come that YOU might have life – life in all it’s fullness.”
Our heavenly Father loves and cares for YOU! -just as the farmer cares for the branches of the vines. Would you like to share in that FULL LIFE that Jesus offers? You can, if you will put your faith in Jesus. Just turn to Him , tell him that you are sorry for your past mistakes and failures, and that you want to begin, right now, to live a new life with him as your helper. Don’t worry that there should be any great ceremony in talking to Him – just speak to Him as you would to a friend. He is waiting for you and He will be the best Friend you have ever known!
Written by our friends: Barbara & Geoff Pears in 2006. Reproduced by permission.
Page reviewed 21 June 2019