January 15, 2019

Do you save your good underwear to wear on trips?  Years ago I remember friends of my parents got into a car accident while on a weekend vacation.  They weren’t seriously hurt, but one of them confessed to my mother how embarrassed she was that she was wearing tattered underwear.

We want to make a good impression on people, and so we like to save our “good stuff” for special occasions.  Sometimes the stuff gets quite old while we are waiting for a special-enough occasion.  I hope we don’t save our “good stuff” because we feel like we don’t deserve  it.  Or don’t deserve it right now.

Do you have a bottle or two of wine that are too good for you, but that you’re saving for a special occasion?  Maybe you got them for Christmas?  In 2012?

The Gospel story in John about the wedding at Cana is when Jesus famously turns water into wine.  When the chief steward of the household tastes the wine, he says this to the groom; “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.”

Jesus didn’t just create one bottle of wine.  There were six large jars that held water for the Jewish rite of purification.  And there was enough water to purify 200,000 people, and it all became wine.

The writer of the Gospel of John tells stories of many signs that Jesus performed.  In this, the first of these stories, we learn about abundance.  The servants fill the jars “up to the brim,” even though it was far more wine than the wedding guests could ever consume.  And that’s the point.  Even though it was much more than they needed, the servants still fill the jars completely full.

As Mennonite Pastor Joanna Harader puts it, “when the miracle
occurs, it’s not a miracle to make ends meet, to help the couple
manage.  It’s a miracle of abundance.  Gallons and gallons of good wine, wine that impresses the steward.  Wine that reveals the glory of God.”

There is so much of it that we don’t have to wait for a “special”
occasion.  This abundance is for us, right now.

See you in church!