It is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:9-11, ESV)
In yesterday’s message at Bedford Road, we looked particularly at the two words translated as “pure and blameless” and illustrated them with the idea of a fruit bowl being clean. (If you were there, you know how I contaminated the bowl).
In case you’re wondering:
- Pure is a translation of the Greek word εἰλικρινής (i-lik-ree-NAS) which literally means “judged by the sun”. It is the kind of clean you have when you hold a glass up to the sun and there are not spots or marks.
- Blameless translates ἀπρόσκοπος, literally “not stumbling” or “not bumpy”. It can be used to refer to a clean road, but also to the idea of something being smooth to the touch.
Paul puts up some very exacting standards for the containers of God’s “fruit of righteousness”. When we aspire to this standard, God’s grace covers our imperfections and he pours his fruit of righteousness into us, so it can be served to those around us.
In the message, I mashed up some facts about the failure of the Schlitz brewery with a different situation that occurred in the 90’s with Anheuser-Busch products in Europe. I’ve provided clarification on the message page. That bit of a mash-up notwithstanding, beer bottles are a perfect example of a container that needs to be pure and blameless.
Don’t Be Skunky!
In this case, however, the bottle needs to block the UV light from the sun to prevent skunking. Beer exposed to sunlight will over time break down and smell quite literally like skunk. While some beers like Miller High Life are processed to prevent skunking in clear bottles, most quality beers are served in dark brown glass for a reason. When UV radiation strikes beer, it breaks down chemicals called isohumulones and components of the isohumulones create bonds with sulfur molecules – producing the skunk like smell.
Bottles are held to an exacting standard for this. Likewise, a beer bottle that is scuffed or marked up inside will cause gushing when opened. The scuffs serve as nucleation sites and generate excessive carbon dioxide bubbles. In Canada, beer bottles are often recycled but these bottles often have internal scuffs from the cleaning process – which produces gushing. (The makers of Guinness have used this process to their advantage by creating “the widget”, which is a small plastic sphere that serves as a nucleation site for the nitrogen and carbon dioxide diffused in their canned and bottled products because they do not nucleate sufficiently in a bottle.)