John’s Gospel declares not only did God become flesh in Jesus, but in doing so God gives unmistakable signs revealing God’s purpose. As Jesus steps onto the stage of human history, John reports that the first sign is given at a neighborhood wedding.
If we miss the sign we can be forgiven. The image of a wedding is itself a sign for most of us. It can be a sign of love moving from friendship and deepening into a relationship where two become one. It can signal the desire to become a family. Marriage for the prophets like Hosea is a symbol of the union that God desires with us as his people.
So what is the sign and what might it mean to us? This wedding is marked by an oops! “When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to (Jesus), “They have no wine.” Is this the sign? To run out of wine is very bad form, just as later we are reminded that to serve the best wine till the end is also impolite.
Now it is striking to me that though Jesus protests his mother’s request, he does it. Jesus is an obedient son. “Do whatever He tells you” indicates to me that Mary trusts that Jesus will be able to solve the problem of the wine shortage. How much do I trust Jesus to solve the problems I encounter? What will Jesus do?
“Now standing there were six stone Jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding 20 or 30 gallons, but they are empty, useless taking up space. “Fill up the jars with water.” And they filled them to the brim. Set apart these six jars are useless until they are filled. How often in your life have you felt useless and set aside?
Following Jesus instructions the miracle is revealed, the water has become wine, good wine and in abundance. It makes me want to say, “Lord, fill me up! Pour me out! That is what Jesus can do as we trust him, allow him to make us the instruments that God intends: sources of God’s refreshment and wisdom meant to bring abundance and joy to God, making full use of the life God has given us. So if you are feeling like an empty jar, useless just pray , “Lord, fill me up! Pour me out!” and be open to how God will use you.
January 17, 2016; Cycle C; 2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10 ; 1st Cor. 12:1-11; *John 2:1-11