Weekly e-Devotion: January 14 Edition

John 2:1-11
The Gospel Lesson for 1/16/22

1On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him,  “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Transformation.

    The gospel lesson for this week is one of my favorite stories. Besides being rich in subtle cultural nuance, I love that Jesus’ first miracle is one of joy and celebration. His last miracle, if you’ll allow me the liberty to call his second coming his final miracle, will be an even bigger celebration with unimaginable joy. And it too will be a wedding. The miracles, besides his own birth, began with empty stone jars and ordinary water. It is a miracle of transformation. It is a miracle of ordinariness and extraordinariness.
    In fact, wine was a very ordinary drink in Israel. But this was the good stuff. The story announces that it seemed the best wine was saved for last rather than the other way around. But it started even more ordinary. It started as water. In Israel, plain water was not the drink of choice. Drinkable water was not easy to find so beer and wine were the norm.
    In our story, it sounds almost as if Jesus doesn’t want to help out. This is very far from the truth. It is the second and last recorded conversation between Jesus and his mother. Both conversations end with a question posed by Jesus. In the first conversation after losing Jesus at the temple, Mary is perplexed and amazed and ponders these things. Now, 18 years later, Mary understands much more, yet nothing really, about her son. She knows He is, who He is. His questions and tone are not disrespectful, nor unwilling. They are pointed and meaningful. He asks, “Why do you involve me?” A fair question.  
    And then he gets involved, no surprise to Mary or to Jesus. He gets involved in the ordinary. He gets involved in the celebration. He gets involved in the business of a host who may be shamed otherwise and with guests who have already had plenty but are not yet done celebrating the joyous union of an unnamed couple. He gets involved in a private moment for specific individuals and it has become a public moment of transformation and definition.
    Why did Mary (Why do we?) involve Jesus? Because He knows, understands, cares. serves, loves… as only God can… about the tender, weak hearts of man and the mortal lives we are bound to until the transformation begins.
    See, not only is the wine transformed, but so are those aware of the miracle. The text says simply, “His disciples believed in him.” They had chosen to follow him, but they did not understand God’s true plan for the long-awaited Messiah. Suddenly, they had something big and unique and divine to hold onto. Their own transformations began in that moment. A ragtag group of ordinary men were on the journey to extraordinary.
    Extraordinary became evident after another combination of clear and red was poured out for us all. Do you remember? When the soldier pierced Jesus’ side, water and blood ran out together. Though they had reason to fear for their own lives, the disciples had become extraordinary men of faith and courage, obeying the command to share the good news of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. And, I dare say, it truly began at this ordinary wedding.
    Far from ordinary, Jesus is the living water, and His blood is the means of our redemption. Upon receiving this news and accepting this gift, our transformation begins. Our stone vessels are filled with the transforming, gift-giving Holy Spirit (See also 1 Corinthians 12:1-12).  Ours too, is a journey from ordinary to extraordinary and involves a wedding between the Lamb and His Bride, the Church. It will be an extraordinary and never-ending celebration of a union planned from the beginning. The best has been saved for last, but the joy and the transformation have already begun.
    Be transformed by the blood and invite all people to join in the feast and celebration!

 

e-Devotion author: Bobbie Tomasek.
If you are interested in becoming an e-Devotion author, please contact Pastor Dan at dhoeger@allsaintsphoenix.org or 602.866.9191.
The e-Devotion can also be viewed on the All Saints website.


PRAYER FOR THE WEEK

Heavenly Father, thank you for transforming us with the gift of your Son, help us share our joy with all. Amen.


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BIBLE READINGS

Jan 16
2nd Sunday after Epiphany
Click HERE to read
Isaiah 62:1-5
Psalm 36:5-10
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
John 2:1-11

Jan 23
3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Click HERE to read
Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10

Psalm 19
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a
Luke 4:14-21

*eDevotion Bible text(s)

 


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