Second Sunday after Epiphany Lectionary Text:
January 17, 2010: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11
Lectionary Text Psalm 36:5-10:
5Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.
7How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8They feast on the abundance of your house,
and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
and your salvation to the upright of heart!
Lectionary Text John 2:1-11: On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ 4And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ 5His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ 6Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. 8He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. 9When 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 10and 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.’ 11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
COMMENT: John, in the first chapter of his gospel, presents Jesus as the Logos/God come into the world as human. In chapter 3, we learn God’s motive was love to reveal to us in the only way we could understand God and that was in touchable flesh and blood.
In chapter 2, our text for this week, John sets the tone of his gospel by narrating Jesus’ first miracle in ministry, at a wedding. In the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus uses the imagery of a wedding to describe the kingdom of God.
As it happens with almost all wedding days, something goes awry with the plans. The wine ran out! Jesus’ response was to supply the needed wine in quantities beyond expectation and with a quality that was par excellence.
So, I suggest that it might be a good idea to read John’s entire gospel through the lens of celebration and commitment that comes with marriage. How many ways will Jesus maintain the premise of providing ‘quantities beyond expectation and with a quality that was par excellence’?
Paul the Apostle, in his letter to the Ephesians, uses the imagery of marriage, to define the attitudes and behavior of the husband and wife as and examples of the relationship of an individual Christian with Christ. Out of sacrificial love that a husband brings and the honor and respect that a wife conveys, a holy union is made. Jesus prays on the night before he died, “Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one…I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. John 17: 17b and 20-21
The good news is that whether married or single we as Christians are the bride of Christ with all the vows and promises that apply. In ‘plenty’ and in ‘want’, in ‘sickness’ and in ‘health’, Jesus our faithful bridegroom is with us. However this relationship does not end with death, but lives on into eternity.
In, a letter called Revelation John wrote to a persecuted bride, the church in Asia, “Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty thunder-peals, crying out, and ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exultand give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; to her it has been granted to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure’—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.”
During the season of Epiphany let us include Psalm 36:7, “7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
Even in the dim light of winter, may God shine the eternal light of love into your life. Amen
© January 15, 2010
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