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I want to share with you some reflections from the Bishop of Upstate NY Synod, Pastor Lee Miller. He shares the text for this upcoming Sunday with some great thoughts on this familiar miracle story. Please take some time to pray through the questions he asks at the end and may this reminder of Jesus’ miraculous power be hope for you today. PS
2:1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When 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 10 and 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.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
A common theme I hear is exhaustion. Pandemic exhaustion mixed with a good dose of anxiety. We’re tired. The world’s tired. All creation is tired.
“Coming back” is a challenge on so many levels. Waves of virus roll through interrupting what we might see as progress. Grief overwhelms. We don’t have what we thought we had before. We may feel like it’s all run out. Like we are empty.
And then Mary calls to Jesus and says to him, “They have no wine.”
While this may be our first encounter of public ministry with (adult) Jesus in John’s gospel, a mother certainly knows her son, and she knows darn well what she is asking of him when she states succinctly, “they have no wine.”
And Jesus, sounding like the adult-child of his mother that he is, snarks back, “Woman” (I wonder how that went over) “what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
Mary seems to ignore his response and moves on forward for she has seen God’s glory manifest before. God is glorified in the spaces and places where God shows up.
The stewards approach the six stone cold vessels. Like the empty spaces where we feel our cup has simply poured out; I heard a preacher say there are “six” vessels as humankind was created on the sixth day of creation. We are these empty vessels.
Jesus calls for the six empty stone-cold vessels to be filled, to the brim, with water. You know the story: as they draw from the water the steward discovers that it has become the finest wine.
When we are dry. When we are empty. God shows up for us again. God’s glory made manifest in water, wine, bread; signs that are in our daily life. God shows up for us again, becomes manifest, in the light we see in one another, for that light, our life, is from the Divine. God is glorified, shows up, becomes manifest, when we love our neighbors, for in so doing, we, as church together, are the body of Christ in the world today.
I pray you may find a space and place where your cup may be filled again to overflowing. I pray that even as the Holy pours refreshing waters into you, that same Spirit might draw from you gifts of grace and life that are utilized for the sake of the world. I pray that this same amazing love, might activate each of us, as the church together, to participate in God’s work of reconciliation and justice in the world, and to share in the Joy of Christ our savior.
Questions to pray through:
Where do you (the hearer) feel dry or empty?
What “fills your cup”?
Bishop Lee Miller
Be well, safe and blessed!