Now, we come upon this week’s Epiphany reflection: Jesus turning the water into wine. In total we find seven (some say eight with the crucifixion included) “signs” that point to what Jesus is up to in the world in the gospel of John. It is interesting that they are called “signs” and not “miracles”. While each one of these actions were definitely miracles in their own right, we find some aspect of Christ’s divinity displayed not by teaching – but by showing us what that aspect looks like in real life.
When Jesus turned the water into wine, he gave us a glimpse of the abundance of God’s grace and goodness. Think of it: a wedding runs out of wine but Jesus steps in and turns ceremonial washing water into gallons upon gallons of the finest wine you can find! The head of the party is saved and the guests can enjoy the best of the wine at the end of the party – not at the beginning.
And, while we often will exegete the stuffing out of most passages, this is a miracle that we can gaze upon and say “wow, that was pretty cool.” We get to experience what it would feel like to be there as the wine was not contained in bottles – but in barrels.
We find this sign to be a glimpse of what is to come in the fourth Gospel. In the other gospels, Jesus teaches. In John, he shows us. While we go about studying and being taught how things like grace, mercy, forgiveness, suffering, healing, sacrifice, and justice work – Jesus shows us what they look like when lived out.
Join us in working through the verses below this week and immersing yourself in the story of this sign.
1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When 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 10 and 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.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. 2 The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. 3 You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. 4 You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. 5 For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
Lord our words are many, but our actions can betray
We speak of things we do not know
Yet, we boast about what we think we know
Give us the courage to speak less and see more
Let us learn by seeing the ways you work everyday
We want to show the world who you are, not just tell them
Give us eyes to see and ears to hear your signs
So that we can know you and fall in love even more
Let it be to us according to your mercy,