Crushed For a Season [New Poem]


In this poem I connect the image of winemaking with that of suffering, grief, and growth. The winepress is a symbol both of judgment and discipline as well as celebratory rejoicing. Wine resembles and signifies blood, but it is also a sign of the coming kingdom of God.

Suffering and death precede resurrection. A grain of wheat can only bear fruit if it dies. God disciplines us as sons and daughters, though it is never pleasing at the time. We wrestle with spiritual forces of evil, and yet one day all the sad things will be made untrue and there will be a banquet of new wine and feasting.

Along with these biblical themes, I had these two passages from Paul’s epistles in mind:

that I may know [Jesus] and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Philippians 3:10-11

 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church…

Colossians 1:24

Crushed For a Season

Crushed for a season
Fruit freshly gathered
Churning, burst squeezing
Mayhem’s sloshing lather

Can chaos contain
Any meaning sweet?
And ferment’s decay
Grow, give, make complete?

Where nothing happens
And all seems forgot
Could one imagine
A lesson be taught?

Might a yeasting stink
Yield a better thing?
Lush, gushing and pink
Rich pleasure bringing?

Only when He treads
Winepress of delight
Wounds that flow and spread
Succor, glory bright

Taste and see He’s good
Spirited drink best
With us bleeding, could
Mingle, mature, bless

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