Eph. 5:17,18 – Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,
Mardi Gras has become an opportunity for man’s carnal nature to run amuck. I know all the arguments that defend the day that God forgot, I lived in NOLA as a child and almost all of my life, but at the end of the day it has become pretty ugly. You ever wonder why the king of Mardi Gras is some rich white guy and the queen some young girl from a connected family? Something doesn’t smell right about that. In many ways it has become a drunken spectacle where people end up doing things they only dream of in their darker moments.
Today’s verse draws a parallel to two kinds of lives and two kinds of joy. One shows the spirit of the world dominated by drunken foolishness. The other life is a life of a different kind of drinking, drinking in the wine of the Spirit and being filled with a heavenly joy.
Matthew Henry points to Bacchus, of all things, in his comments on today’s verse.
“Drunkards are wont to sing obscene and profane songs. The heathens, in their Bacchanalia, used to sing hymns to Bacchus, whom they called the god of wine. Thus they expressed their joy; but the joy of Christians should express itself in songs of praise to their God. In these they should speak to themselves in their assemblies and meetings together, for mutual edification.”
Barnes also references Bacchus, he says his influence turns men into madmen. Here are his thoughts.
“Do not become madmen. Here is a most evident allusion to the orgies of Bacchus, in which his votaries acted like madmen; running about, tossing their heads from shoulder to shoulder, appearing to be in every sense completely frantic. But understanding what the will of the Lord is. It is the will of God that ye should be sober, chaste, holy, and pure. Get a thorough understanding of this; acquaint yourselves with God’s will, that ye may know how to glorify him.”
What kind of drinking will you be doing today? Which community of drinking are you a part of? One drink leaves a sense of emptiness and guilt and the possibility of shattered relationships. The other drink, joy unspeakable and a connection to a community of beautiful people.