Sunday’s Scripture ~ John 2:1-11
This week concludes Reeves’ first unofficial 2013 sermon series. I say unofficial because I didn’t intend Jesus: The Early Years to actually be a sermon series…it just sort of happened that way. Love when the Spirit moves in ways that I never expect and makes greatness out of what most definitely would have been scatteredness. Thanks be to God.
Jesus has been baptized and has crossed the threshold into his years of full-time ministry. It is believed he served three years in ministry from the time of his baptism until his crucifixion. According to the Fourth Gospel, the Wedding at Cana is his first public miracle.
One of my favorite capturings of the Weddings at Cana in reception history is from !Hero the Rock Opera. Enjoy!
Yes…weddings in the Jewish culture in the time of Jesus were a big and widely attended. They still are today.
And Jesus was in the midst of this one. I can’t help but smile when I think about Jesus at a reception…what if Jesus gathered with all the fellas to catch the garter!?! What if he helped heckle the groom as he went to retrieve said garter…
I can imagine Jesus with joy on his face as he sang the celebratory songs and participated in the traditional chair dances, as he ate, drank, and was merry. I agree with Robert Brearley that “sometimes the church has forgotten that our Lord once attended a wedding feast and said yes to gladness and joy. Prompted by his earthly mother, Jesus turned water into wine to point us to his heavenly Father, a God who loves to hear the laughter of people celebrating people. Sometimes the church has forgotten to live the joy of such revelation.”*
In the Incarnation God inserted joy into brokenness through the Word made flesh in Jesus. And in Cana God kept the joy overflowing – and the partying going – as Jesus turned water into wine. What a testament this is that life is not about drudgery just waiting for the next ball to drop but that life is a ball and something worth living because of the God who gave and gives us life!
I am guilty of letting troubles weigh me down – in my personal life, in my church, in my community, in my country, in my world. While in seminary my friend Dan and I took a course entitled Crisis Ministry and it seemed for a while that every chapter of every book we read began with a reference to Psalm 22 – “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” It became a sort of inside joke for us…we felt forsaken because we continually had to read about our forsakenness…even though we were far from it.
Yes, my friends, we are far from it. In the midst of troubles, God desires joy and works swiftly on our behalves to return us to moments of celebration. God wants us to live in Cana.
God wants our lives to be one great big party.
Prayer: Great God, you are the giver of all good things. You gave us life to enjoy to the fullest and to give back to you in service and love. When life gets in the way of that joy – when events turn our posture away from celebration to worry, to fear, to anger, to disgust – Lord, redeem our thoughts, soften our hearts, and empower our hands, our feet, our hearts, and our wills that together we work to return to celebration. In joy we pray, Amen.
*Quote from David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor, Feasting On the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, Year C, Volume 1 (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 260 and 262.