Donald R. Elly, M. Div.
John’s Good News is different from that of his colleagues, Matthew, Mark and Luke. Where each of them (often copying each other and using material uniquely their own) present the story of Jesus’ ministry, it’s impact on people and institutions of his day, John’s Gospel focuses on Jesus, his identity and meaning for those who believe (trust) him.
John’s Gospel says in Jesus, NOW is the time to see in Jesus the Word made flesh. It started at the creation, but right now Jesus is God continuing a new creation. NOW is the time, will you join the party or sit it out?
John’s Gospel presents seven miracles and the first is the turning of water into wine at a wedding at Cana of Galilee. “On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.”
Been to a wedding lately? Weddings, which used to happen in the Church of the bride, now happen all over the place—the Botanical center, or in good weather, outside at a Rose Garden, or a State Park. But what has not changed is that the weddings usually attract a crowd invited by the bride, the groom and the family. Also at the end of the wedding ceremony the status of the groom and bride is usually concluded with a wedding feast with lots of wine, laughter and wishes shared for the future.
Now this wedding at Cana is when John makes clear who Jesus is. The wine runs out and Mary remarks to Jesus, “They have no wine.” Despite protesting his mother’s expectation Jesus gives directions that six stone jars–used for the rite of purification (bathing for worship)–and sitting empty be filled to the brim with water which becomes wine. How is not the issue, but Jesus is revealed as the power of God bringing healing and wholeness.
The action is a sign pointing to God at work in Jesus offering God power to a broken world not just in Jesus but through us. NOW is the time to see God abundant grace. Will you respond to God’s party invitation and share generously?
January 20, 2019; Cycle C; 2nd Sunday of Epiphany
Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; I Cor. 12:1-11; *John 2:1-11