Here’s A Thought for Jan. 12
“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee….. and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding…. the wine steward tasted the water that had been turned into wine…Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now…….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.” (Portion of John 2:1-11)
Why did Christ Jesus attended an average wedding in a small village named Cana? Well, by attending this wedding banquet, Jesus blessed and honored the callings of average people and especially within the institution of marriage, marriage as God created it to be — the lifelong union of one man with one woman. He blessed and honored these earthly celebrations with his abiding presence within their martial relationships.
It’s the same Messiah who goes to weddings today: who accompanies his people in whatever their calling may be: in the ups and downs of married life, in the workplace, on the street, at the store. He doesn’t hide in the church buildings, although he is here among us in a special way in Word and sacraments. Jesus isn’t allergic to people — he accompanies with us in times of joy — like wedding celebrations, and also in times of sadness when sickness strikes or a loved one dies. That’s the kind of Messiah he is.
Why does Christ Jesus change common water into a “fine wine?” Because when he acts, he is the kind of Messiah who is powerful, gracious and humble. How easily, how effortlessly Jesus forces the laws of nature to yield to his divine power! Thus, 150 gallons of water turned into fine wine in the blink of an eye. Jesus took that which was ordinary and merely sustains life and graciously turned it into a wedding present for his friends, into something festive that brought joy to life and to the people there at that wedding banquet.
It was also a miracle that heralded the arrival of the Messiah, the Savior of Israel, as Amos had said, “New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.” But we see how humbly Jesus did it, without fanfare or trumpets heralding his gift. Only the servants and his disciples knew who deserved the thanks
Now, in his power, grace and humility Jesus, our Messiah continues to provide the basics that we need each day — without fanfare, without trumpeting his gifts. Today, in true power, grace and humility, this Messiah that we have turns ordinary water into the cleansing bath of baptism, and he turns ordinary bread and wine into a joyful banquet of his body and blood, a banquet that is a foretaste of the great wedding banquet we’ll enjoy with him in heaven when Christ the bridegroom and his bride, the Church, begin their great wedding celebration. That’s the kind of Messiah he is!
Thus, for you and me, the best part is still waiting for us. Since, Jesus is the kind of Messiah who, when he comes, will take all the bitter trials of life and all the sweet joyful moments, too, and change them into something better at the last, into the finest of wine that makes everything else seem as tasteless as water. The best part is still unseen, waiting to be revealed when Christ Jesus himself is revealed from heaven.
All of that from Jesus’ first miracle of changing water into wine? In this one miracle, God has given you a taste of the kind of Messiah Jesus will be. “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.”
Thus in this New Year of 2018, we will continue to following him, as His disciples, and we put our faith in him, too. Amen.
Chopp is a chaplain emeritus, MDiv, BCC, from Marshall