Saturday, January 16, 2016

Epiphany 2

Epiphany 2
John 2:1-11
Christ is made manifest in miracles – and a little advice from His mother

Three days into the New Year, someone asked me, “So, how many weddings you have this year?” People want to know. Because weddings are huge!

As Jesus entered this world. He came into a family. And to a village. And to a job. And to sweat. And to friends. And to prayers. And to toil. And to tears. And to laughter. The events of Jesus’ life are just as normal and ordinary as your life’s circumstances.

John gives us the account of Jesus’ life as it happened. We can imagine it happening today as it occurred 2,000 years ago. Jesus was invited to a wedding. How many ‘save the date’ post cards do you have on your fridge?  Jesus lived a typical life.  Very routine. Quite normal.  We need not dismiss the miracle accounts of the Scriptures because they occur under ordinary circumstances. Because they occurred under ordinary circumstances make these miracle accounts plausible, possible, probable.

John begins our story as matter of fact. “Now there was a wedding which took place in Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. And Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.” 

I remember about fifteen/twenty years ago, a meeting with the Tabea Society. One of the ladies asked me, “Pastor, what this business about marriage counseling? We didn’t have anything like that when we got married!” Said, another, “That’s right. The only advice I was given was if you had a fight – take a walk!” And without hesitation, another said, “Ya, and in that first year, I must have walked a thousand miles!”  

Much advice is given to young person’s entering marriage. But of all the advice one could receive whether you are young or old; newly engaged or married over 70 years – these words are golden – invite Jesus in – This nameless, faceless, couple invited Jesus to their wedding. May Jesus be the ever-present yet unseen guest in every home.

John continues. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine!” “They have no more wine.” It wasn’t as if this family didn’t plan. It wasn’t as if they had little regard for their guests. They considered their guests. They planned ahead. They concerned them.  Still. The wine was gone! 

Every couple. Every family. Every household. Has their own set of unique circumstances. Life happens. What challenges are in your road? It might be financial. It might be a special needs child. It might be a chronic illness. Or a persistent hardship. It’s an irritation. That won’t go away. It lingers. It can fester.

Mary is consistent. She tells Jesus her problem. She “takes it to the Lord in prayer.” And Jesus’ response sounds almost disrespectful. “Woman. Why are you saying this to me?”  Why are you saying this to Jesus? Why trouble the Master?  Because your need is great… 

Like Mary, turn to Jesus, and "do what He says". When they had no more wine, she turned to Jesus. When you have issues. Where there are challenges.  When you are in trouble. What do you do?  Turn to Jesus.   Do as He says. Jesus has given you His Word. That He will never leave you. And never forsake you.

He has given you His Word of promise. "I am with you always!"  There can be no better advice then to follow the words of May. As the Nike commercial suggests. Whatever Jesus says - "just do it!"

Jesus gives in abundance. Jesus commands the servants - take six stone water pots, containing twenty to thirty galleons each, fill them to the brim. Then take some to the master of ceremonies. How much wine?  120-180 gallons! Translation?  Jesus does not give you leftovers. He provides in abundance.

He richly and daily provides for all, which you need to support your body and life. He encourages you to prayer only for what you need in the 4thpetition of the Lord’s Prayer.  Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self-control. Good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.[1] Daily Jesus provides. 

This water.  Turned into wine. It is the best. The master of ceremonies, not knowing where the wine had come from, says to the groom, "you have saved the better until now".  Jesus gives only the best.  He is the miracle worker. He chooses to give you only the best at the cross and empty tomb. When He suffered and died to bring salvation. If He has done this for you. Will He not also give you exactly what you need?  Jesus can do none other.  He only knows to give in abundance. He only knows to give the best. This is how He chooses to deal with you.  He gives you His best. He gives you Himself. That is His promise to you. Today, tomorrow, forever!

The purpose of the miracle -" the disciples put their faith in Him." This is the reason why Jesus delivers only the best. He does this so that we will put our faith and trust in Him. Daily He calls you to trust and follow Him. He has guaranteed that He will help. He can do none other. Trust Jesus today. Honor Him. Serve Him. Follow Him.

John concludes by saying that this was only the first of Jesus' many miracles in which He manifested His glory. Miracles continue to this day.  Day by day, He works His will in your life. So that you can know, that Jesus truly is your Savior, Redeemer, Friend. Jesus will continue to manifest Himself in your life. This you can bank on. Christ, the author of all happiness, still works in the lives of people. He was present in the life of Mary, the disciples, this couple and especially in your life. Today is the day for a miracle!  Where is this miracle to be found?  His miracles are found in certain places. Where He manifests His glory. So that you place your confidence in Him.
Words- 1,075
Passive Sentences –2%
Readability – 79%
Reading Level-4.0

[1] Luther’s Small Catechism, 4th Petition of the Lord’s Prayer © 2008 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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