Saturday, August 20, 2011

Our Vineyard
by Fred & Gloria Strickert

Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard:
My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill.
(Isaiah 5:1)

Considering how many times vineyards are mentioned
in the Bible:
  • the parable of the workers in the vineyard
  • the wicked tenants
  • I am the vine, you are the branches
It is appropriate that today was our congregation
workday in the LWF vineyard.
Last October we wrote about the olive harvest--about 900 olives trees on the Mount of Olives.  So the harvest of grapes and olives goes to pay medical expenses at Augusta Victoria Hospital for those in need.

Most of the grapes are merlot and are sent off to the winery for wine.

Khaled loads the grapes into the truck
and we stand in appreciation on this hot summer day in the month of Ramadan when Muslims refrain from water as well as food before sunset.

And so a congregational field trip to accompany the grapes twelve miles northwest of Jerusalem to Latrun, the Trappist Monastery named for a 12th century castle "The tower of the knights" -- La Tour des Chevaliers.

The grapes are weighed.
554 kilos.  Not bad for a morning's work. 

And so the process begins, cleaning, washing, mashing, and into the vats.

The finished product.  
So what about the issue of pay for the workers who began at dawn and those who arrived in time to load the truck? 
 No one seemed to mind after a glass of wine.
There is another special winery at the Cremisan Monastery on the terraced slopes north of Beit Jala near Bethlehem.  That's where we purchase communion wine. It's just half the distance away from us, but the political situation prevents our transport of Jerusalem grapes across the Separation Wall.  Even the Salesian Brothers are concerned about their future with the wall cutting their property in half.  So we continue to support them as best we can.

There surely must be a parable about things like that.

by Fred & Gloria Strickert