There are several passages I feel this way about, but the strongest imagery in the Text for me is anything to do with wines and vines. Now, I enjoy a good glass of wine now and then - but it goes way beyond common appreciation. Vineyards, wine, grapes, any reference to such a thing in the Text and I'm immediately on alert. Vines and wines are my spiritual love language.
"Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, 'Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father's kingdom.'"
Then there are more reasons I love this imagery. Some of my favorite stories of fruitful vines Geoff has covered in recent blogs: Come to the Vineyard and Abundant Fruit.
I have always had a vivid imagination for what life on the vine truly looks like; all the winding, binding, and intertwining that I witness around the world. The truth of being part of The Vine is so much bigger and more interwoven than any of us can grasp. I often picture my own life as one long winding vine with branches to be pruned, new fruit to grow; a continuous winding story in constant need of The Gardener's hand lifting me back up to a fruitful height.
What's more, I love exploring vineyards and have walked many trails of vines from Napa Valley to southern France. The imagery and stories of vineyards that Jesus referenced in teachings come alive for me when I am in and among the source of these stories.
As for me, I tend to take this one pretty literally. I love the way Paul put it as found in 1 Corinthians 11, specifically verse 25 and 26: "In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, 'This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.' For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes."
I'll leave the debates of "which cup is He referencing, the Passover cup? The drink with dinner? The wine itself?" to others. He said, "...whenever you drink it..." and I love remembering Him whenever I drink wine (or even good ole Welch's). It's Awesome to be able to remember our Savior in a special way any time we drink the fruit of the vine; be it a miniature cup of juice at a solemn church service on Sunday or enjoying a glass of wine with friends at dinner on Tuesday. He is honored and loved when we invited Him into every moment of our lives; a glass of wine is one of my favorite reminders to do so.
- from John 15