Sunday, January 13, 2013

Free drinks and bad catering

Readings this week (SundayJanuary 20 2013 are for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Isaiah 62:1-5 Psalm 36:5-10 I Corinthians 12:1-11 John 2:1-11 

No miracle attracts attention like 

the turning of water into wine. 
It is the butt of all the jokes 
that cynics and non-Christians throw at believers in Jesus.
Be that as it may,
It is also profoundly misunderstood.

We are fixated 
on getting our water turned into wine
whereas it seems the holy God
might be intent on something else.

A couple of points
Jesus is with us in the ordinary.
Although we think this story 
is about a magic trick of changing water into wine
it speaks volumes more
it is not the extraordinary
that is the key
but the ordinary.

Here we have Jesus at an ordinary,
albeit special, event
a marriage
and being bothered about an ordinary,
albeit serious, problem
the wine has run out!

If we hear nothing else in this story
we need to recognise that it is about how Jesus
lives with us in the ordinary world.

The world of weddings and bad catering!

We often confine God to "religious" areas
but this story, like much of John's Gospel,
reminds us that Jesus 
does not take us out of the ordinary
but rather transforms it.

Or perhaps to allow ourselves 
to be transformed by the ordinary
or to be the agents
of that transformation

One of the keys to enabling this transformation to happen
is to hear the words of Mary to his disciples

Do what ever he tells you!"

So two key principles so far in this story are:

  • allow Jesus into the ordinary
  • and listen to what he is telling you to do and do it.

This simple advice stands us in good stead.
It requires simply that we open our ordinary life to God
And that we listen to what God is saying
We are not always good at this.

In fact so intent are we in looking out
for the tricky stuff
that we often miss the change 
that is right under our noses
  • the deepening of relationships
  • the opening of our hearts
Take time each day 
to look at 
ordinary life, at work, at school
at home
with our family, 
in our duties,
in our recreation

Jesus does not cane the wedding guests!

He does not say "You are a mob of drunks! and it serves you right."
but rather

      I have come that you might have life
      and have it more abundantly.

This is one of the great themes of John's Gospel.
This is no story of wayward drunkenness
or a cheap party trick
but an invitation
to give every aspect of our life to God
and live it
with the abundance
he desires for us.

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