Monday, January 8, 2018

Looking Forward to January 14, 2018

The Scripture reading this week is John 2:1-11

The Sermon title is Party On

Early Thoughts: The party must go on.

Jesus and company are at a wedding. Weddings in their world were generally a multi-day affair. And after a couple of days the wine runs out. Not a good thing.

The (unnamed in this passage) Mother of Jesus encourages him to intervene. At first he is reluctant, but then accedes.  With the result that 120-180 gallons of good, indeed the best, wine are made available. And the party is able to continue. I suspect I have known a few people in my life who would welcome such a party.

[SIDEBAR: Raymond Brown has suggested that part of the reason that the wine ran out may in fact lie with Jesus and his friends. The wedding celebration may well have been a Bring Your Own Wine event. Jesus and his friends may have been living a life of voluntary poverty that did not allow them to bring wine...but would not have stopped them from consuming. As one blog I read put it "maybe if Mary had not brought all those "+1" the wine would have held out longer. It does help explain why Mary is so concerned that the wine has run out.  Another theory that has been posited for why Mary was so concerned is that the wedding was for someone in Jesus' family and so they were sharing the hosting duties]

Why tell this story?

For the writer of the Gospel this incident, like many other things that will come, is a sign pointing to what is happening in Jesus, it is a sign to reveal who Jesus is. That is one reason we tell this story.

WE also tell the story to remind ourselves of the abundant and overflowing grace of God. We remind ourselves that just when we think we have run out of resources Jesus, the one who Matthew describes as talking about the lilies of the air and the birds of the field who neither sow nor spin, is there to provide what is needed.

We tell the story to remind ourselves that the party continues. WE remind ourselves in this story that Jesus brings new wine, new hope, new possibilities and so in Jesus we celebrate the new wine, the good wine, the zestiness of life.

NOw I have to go research science experiments to turn water into wine...on Sunday you can find out if I have any success.

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