The Scripture Readings for this week are:
- From the Jewish Scriptures: Isaiah 62:1-5
- Psalm 36:5-10 (Voices United p.762)
- From the Letters of the Early Church: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11
- From the Gospel: John 2:1-11
The Hymns will be:
- 402 We Are One
- 268 Bring Many Names
- 232 Joyful, Joyful We Adore You
- 242 Let All Things Now Living
The Sermon Title is More Wine!!!!
Early Thoughts: Ever been at a party at the refreshments ran out? Some would say that means it is time to go home. Others would say it is time for a beer run. But in this story from John's Gospel running out of wine is seen as bad planning, that the host will be embarrassed because his guests have drunk all of it. What to do? What to do?
The obvious answer of course is "Get more wine!". As John tells the story Mary, mother of Jesus, tells her son to do just that. Mary's request says nothing about how to get more wine, she doesn't even really ask directly for more wine. She simply says “They have no wine.” (verse 3). Then when Jesus refuses to do anything about it she merely tells the servants to do whatever he tells them.
[As a side note it makes one wonder whose wedding this was. If Mary and, through her, Jesus are taking such responsibility for the provision of more wine then is this a family affair? Why is it their business to save the host from embarrassment?]
When Jesus decides to make something happen he does what John calls in verse 11 "the first of his signs...and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.". He takes 6 massive jars of water (about 150 gallons, or approximately 600 litres total) and changes the water into wine. 600 LITRES of wine!!! A standard bottle of wine is 750 millilitres. Jesus makes enough wine for 800 bottles -- and this is after the guest have already drunk what was originally provided. Now that is what I call a party (not to mention a big headache the next day). Where everyone was convinced there was nothing there was more than enough.
And it gets even better! Not only was it there in great abundance it was good wine too! Trusting in the rather odd instructions the servants discovered a great abundance practically under their noses. They were sure that they had a problem of scarcity but they really didn't.
This scarcity issue is real for us. All too often we convince ourselves that we don't have enough. And yet Scripture keeps reminding us that there is great abundance waiting to be discovered if we only have eyes to see. Where do we need more wine? What silly instructions do we need to follow to find it?