When do you feel alive? I can understand people wanting to use substances to drown their sorrows, but sorrows turn out to be good swimmers.
If you’re looking for an alternative way to come alive, how about this:
Do not get drunk on wine … Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
This isn’t random advice. It’s part of a bigger story of how people who feel like the walking dead can come alive in our resurrected king (Ephesians 2:1-5).
The one thing that overpowers our pain is the life-generating work of the Holy Spirit bringing us to life in Christ. He’s establishing a whole new society where our feelings of alienation are replaced with the music of life — Spirit-inspired songs of gratitude for the rescue that’s underway, the restoration of humanity in the leader God has given us.
So, c’mon: God is calling us to let go of the brokenness and participate in being truly human together:
Ephesians 5:15–20 (NIV)
15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why raise this contrast at this point of the book? Why wine specifically? Is there anything in the Bible’s larger narrative that would suggest this contrast.