Subject: Redeemer Downtown Devotional: Second Sunday after the Epiphany - January 15, 2012




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Second Sunday after the Epiphany - January 15, 2012

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
John 2:1-11 (ESV)

          The Wedding at Cana is the first in a series of events of self-revelation by Jesus in the Gospel of John. In fact, the entire Gospel is characterized by glimpses of the glory of God shining through Jesus. John writes, “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him” (v.11). Cana was a forgettable village in Galilee, a dark and despised region of the Roman Empire, which makes this episode all the more unexpected yet gloriously bright.
          At one level, Jesus comes into an ordinary, though potentially disastrous, situation. People from the entire town, as well as some from neighboring villages, had come for the wedding that day, so to run out of wine would have been more than inconvenient. It would have been socially unacceptable and the family would likely have borne the shame of it for years to come. But turning water into the choicest wine (“Everyone serves the good wine first...but you have kept the good wine until now”) did not merely sidestep a potentially disastrous situation; it resulted in an outcome that far exceeded any expectations of those present. Imagine yourself at the wedding, witnessing meagerness turn into magnanimity, deprivation into abundance.

          At another level, the miracle gives us a glimpse of an even more extraordinary outcome, one that will come in the future at the end of history. Isaiah writes of a future gathering of people--not merely from neighboring villages, but from all nations--to a sumptuous feast with an abundance of choice food and wine.

On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

                                                             - Isaiah 25:6

          Jesus, by declaring in Cana that his hour had “not yet come”, is saying that the miracle he performed there is just the faintest hint of the more glorious manifestation of his glory and power to come, and the abundance of the wedding just a foretaste of a more extraordinary feast. Revelation 19:9 reminds us that this feast will also be a wedding banquet, and a magnificent one! In Cana, the disciples had a taste of the glorious feast to come, and they believed. Will you?

                                                                                                              Reverend John C. Lin, Downtown Lead Pastor

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

                                                                                                                     Collect from The Book of Common Prayer


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