January 7, 2013

The Wedding Party

Not long ago I was reading an article that gave a number of tips about getting the most out of your sermons. One of the tips was of course to blog pieces of your sermon. Since I have this blog that has been laying mostly fallow this seemed like a good idea. So today is my first attempt to shear down a sermon into a more appropriate blog length.

The sermon series that we at Sackville United Baptist Church began looking at on Sunday has to do with the Seven Signs of John. The first sign is the  miracle where Jesus turned water into wine found in John 2:1-11.

There are a number of things that I have wondered each time I have read it. The first and foremost has always been why would Jesus create so much wine? According to John the six vats of water that Jesus turned into wine were filled to the brim. Filled to the brim these containers could hold 30 gallons or, 120 litres each. Assuming all of the water was turned into wine that means by my estimation Jesus created 960 standard bottles of wine.

Not only did he make a lot of wine according to the Master of the Banquet Jesus made the good stuff! If there is no other lesson to be taken from this story we ought to walk away thinking that Jesus is a great guy to invite to your wedding. 

This has been making it's rounds on the internet. It made me laugh every time.
More seriously though the questions that I have found myself reflecting on have been; 'why this miracle and why this couple?'

This was Jesus' first recorded miracle. He had just collected a few disciples days earlier and begin his public ministry. Had I been Jesus' agent surely I would have suggested a bigger opening salvo for his first miracle. I might have suggested that he walk up to a local hospital and with a few choice words heal everyone. One big spectacular miracle that announced to the world, I AM THE SON OF GOD, FOLLOW ME!

Or perhaps I would have sent him to Herod, and have Jesus demand that Herod come off his throne and worship him. I might have even have suggested to Jesus that he toast a few palace guards with fire from Heaven, or that he should open the eyes of Herod so he could see the legions of angles armed to the teeth surrounding Jesus.

That is what I would have suggested Jesus do at the start of his ministry. It causes me some unease when I realize that my suggestions as Jesus' agent would have been strikingly similar to the things that Satan tried to get Jesus to do during the wilderness temptation.

Instead of doing anything big and spectacular, instead of going to highly public places, or seeing very important people Jesus' first miracle is a quiet miracle witnessed by only a few people which alleviates the minor problem of potential embarrassment of a nameless couple and their family.

When I think of Jesus acting in this way it fills me with great hope.

After all I am not a person with that wields world altering importance. Likewise my problems, while serious to me are trite in compassion to the issues facing the world. And yet like Jesus entered into the issue facing the nameless wedding couple in Cana I can trust that Jesus will enter into my life as well. And so can you.

We do not have to feel that we are not important enough for Jesus to take notice of us. This first sign found in the gospel of John tells us that Jesus does care, and when he acts he can provide us with a lavish solution something akin to 960 bottles of wine.