Glory Revealed – a reflection for the Second Sunday of Epiphany

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. 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 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.’ Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:1-11

1500_juan_de_flandes_wedding_cana_1

Take from us Lord, any sense that we haven’t much to offer you.
Even when we feel that our gifts are meagre and ordinary,
help us to offer them joyfully to you,
that you may transform what we think is just water,
into the rich wine of your kingdom, full of blessing. Amen.

Our Gospel reading this week is a familiar tale. It is a story that is well known and so perhaps we have to work a little harder to understand its significance for us today.

We can identify with the conversation that is captured between Jesus and his Mum. Presumably Jesus is busy enjoying the wedding feast with his friends. He’s certainly not alert to the evolving crisis around him. It’s Mary who notices that the wine is running out. She watches as the Chief Steward discretely whispers the news into the ear of their host. She notices the look of alarm and embarrassment on his face, his discomfort and momentary uncertainty. ‘Are you sure?’ he asks the steward. ‘Is there really no more wine, not even in the depth of the cellars?’

Mary takes action. A practical woman, she has watched her son all these years and knows that he can step in. Jesus and Mary have words! He remonstrates, she insists. Water is turned into the finest wine imaginable. ‘Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.’

The import of the story is not that Jesus performed a miracle for there were many who claimed to perform miracles. The import is that through this miracle, Jesus reveals something of the glory of God in our world. For God’s glory is revealed in and through the smallest of actions and events when, like Mary, we have eyes to notice and wisdom to understand. The glory of God is revealed when willingly and joyfully, we offer our ordinary gifts to be transformed into an extraordinary blessing for others.

Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector

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