Water into wine


Sunday Reflection


24th January 2021

The "wow" factor

11 What Jesus did here in
   Cana of Galilee was the first
   of the signs through which
   he revealed his glory;
   and his disciples
   believed in him.

.....John 2:11

In this Sunday's Gospel we have
the story of Jesus' first miracle,
the water into wine at the
wedding feast in Cana.
The "wow" factor in the
story is astounding.

It is one amazing fact after another.
It is a Guinness
World Book of Records
in itself.

Five hundred litres of wine
produced from water!
And not just your
run of the mill wine!
The best wine these people
have ever tasted!

But I have to ask,
what difference did it make?
Who even knew that Jesus
had performed such a miracle?

His mother, his disciples,
the stewards who took the wine
into the host?
Really, who cares?

This miracle is often referred to
as the "luxury miracle".
"Was it even necessary?
It took place in the everyday
occurrence of a wedding.

The same Christ who refused
to turn stones into bread
to satisfy his own hunger
turned water into wine to
allow some guests at a
wedding to make merry.

And so as we look at this story
we need to look deeper,
past the glitz, past the
"wow" factor,
past the sensationalism,
to the real reason that John
told this story
in the first place.

I think he told it for
many good reasons.

He told it because
he wants us to remember
that we have a God
who graces us,
who is lavish with his love.

Our loving God does not
worry about what is practical.
God does not worry about
the impact of his actions.
God simply connects
with humankind where we are
and reaches through time
and space to be in
relationship with us.

He told it because
he wants us to remember
that the very ordinariness
of life is the source
of the celebration.

While we in our humanity
are impressed by big things,
and oppressed by great problems,
God demonstrates power
in a simple, unassuming way.

Observing what God has created
should convince us of that.

The lacy pattern of a
single flake of snow,
the beauty of a weed
along a country lane,
a rainbow in the sky!

Then there are times when
we have no wine.
It runs out.
It can happen suddenly
and without warning.

Disaster strikes
and we have no energy
to face what has happened.
A close friend dies,
suddenly, without warning.

An accidental death rips
the whole community apart.
The world is ripped apart
by terrorism,
or this present pandemic.

Think about the grief
and confusion of people.
Talk about not
having any wine!

But it is not always so sudden.
In fact sometimes the wine
runs out so gradually
that we don't even notice
it happening.

The joy simply fades
from life,
we lose our job,
we face sickness
in our own lives or
in the lives of
those we love.

We face broken relationships.
A marriage falls apart.
A child is alienated
from the family.
We are betrayed,
hurt by the actions
of a friend.

At those times in our lives
we need to know that we can
do something about it;
that the wine that
has run out
can be replaced.

We have resources
at our disposal;
God will listen to us.

We can pray,
openly and honestly,
knowing that as we come
into closer relationship
with God,
that God will reach out
to us with that healing touch.

God gives us friends,
people who will listen to us,
as we pour out the
troubles of our hearts.
They will hear our pain -
In their concern
we will find healing.

God is the giver,
the source of every gift.
Each, even the one that seems
the least significant,
is a spiritual gift.

There needs to be a quality
of spirit in the life
of the Christian,
a quality that enhances the
life of the whole community.

And you know,
the wonder of it all is that
the gift used for the
common good offers
the most back to the
one who offers it.
It makes new wine.

And we can celebrate!
We can come together in community.
We open ourselves up to all
of God's blessings.

God is revealed to us,
and through us
wine is poured out
abundantly to a needy world.

It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'Water Turned into Wine'
sung by
Chris Tomlin
via the link shown below.