Rethinking a Messiah’s Miracle
Might I suggest Jesus would favor brewing up a batch of European varieties such as the Floreffe Special Reserve, a rich dark beer seasoned with anise spice and orange peel. At eight percent alcohol content, this Belgium Ale is a joy to drain and represents a choice brew that would easily match the words of the party master when he says, “You saved the best for last.” Perhaps we should do the same. No, we can’t always do what Jesus did, but at times we can emulate his example. We can bless others by “saving the best gifts for last” and love our neighbors to the end with increasing kindness, beyond their expectations.
I wonder if Jesus would give us a taste of his sense of humor. If not a Belgium beer, I imagine him turning water from kegs into one of my favorite Pacific Northwest microbrews. Perhaps a Silver City (near Seattle, WA) Scotch Ale, aged in American Oak with a tinge of whiskey. He would anticipate the lovemaking of the bride and groom that would occur later that night and honor them and their guests with this award-winning choice appropriately named, Fat Woody. After tasting it, the banquet master would laugh at the bridegroom (remember, in the story, he doesn’t realize the wine comes from Jesus and not the groom), when he recognizes the exceptional beer and remembers its name.
“Scandalous to even think of such a thing,” an uptight believer might say. Yet, dwell on this: If Jesus shared with the crowds a scripture appropriate for a wedding, he wouldn’t be constrained by many of the mistranslations we have in our modern Bibles.1 He may remember the Song of Songs when Solomon writes “Your love is more delightful than wine,”2 referring to a beautiful maiden doling over her man. Knowing the scriptures like the back of his hand, he might recall the man and woman describing each other’s nude bodies. You read that right: Nude. First, there is the reference to the woman’s breasts being like clusters of fruit. Then, even though our modern translations use the words “navel” or “body” in a couple passages, the correct Hebrew words in the manuscripts from which we derive ours were euphemisms for female and male genitalia.3 Gotta be naked to notice those. At times our modern Bibles are incorrect and Song of Songs is a tad pornographic—in good taste.
What are some more possibilities? Being concerned with getting to the original truth, perhaps he would create something from the oldest brewery in the world—the origin of beer—the Bavarian Wiehenstephan. Its malty, Dark Wheat Beer, would be worthy of a King. Or maybe an American version of a great German beer, like the Silver City Oktoberfest, an amber lager with a rich malty sweetness. Then there’s the infamous Portland, Oregon Deschutes Brewery. One of their reserve brews like the Imperial Stout, called The Abyss (one beer writer calls it precious stuff), would fit the bill. With delightful hints of molasses, licorice, and chocolate flavors, this 11 percenter would be a fine choice for Jesus to craft, although I trust the banquet master would insist it be served in smaller glasses to encourage moderation.