Ramble for Kirwan Uniting Church Keeping in Touch pew sheet 8 January 2023

 Well, the gate doorbell camera has already proved its worth. My Apple Watch vibrates on my wrist, alerting me that there is a pretty pic on my phone of someone standing at the gate. Or even that their vehicle has just pulled in to the layby. (Handy on bin day, to know that the garbo truck has emptied our bins). One pretty pic was of the real estate agent who sold the house to us, another was of a couple of our members. What they had in common, was that they each bore gifts. Virgil has the Trojan priest, Laocoön, exclaiming (Helen Beck has taught this to generations of South Australians) “Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes”, “I fear the Greeks even when they bring gifts.” Nothing to fear here, those goodies both included champagne.

We are quite fond of sparkling wine in general, champagne in particular. Friday night is bubbles (and fush n’chups) night chez nous. Usually a cheap-ish prosecco or Australian sparkling. A mortgage and rising interest rates will put paid to that tradition. An endearing feature of pouring bubbles (after the endearing feature of a loud pop of the cork) is when the honeyed foam overflows the glass. Was the psalmist (Ps 23) sipping a Golan Heights sparkling when he wrote “My cup overflows”?

 

Whatever was in that cup, it cheered the psalmist up. Surrounded by enemies, tramping through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, you wouldn’t think that he had much to celebrate. But he wasn’t drinking alone. In the Valley, he feared no evil because, addressing Yahweh, “You are with me.” And “You anoint my head with oil.” That didn’t make the enemies disappear, or the Valley any less dark, but the overflowing cup turned his mind to a time ahead when he would be dwelling in his drinking buddy’s house forever.

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