Thursday, April 2nd

“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.”  John 2:7-10

 

Max Lucado in “When God Whispers Your Name” offers a theory about why Jesus decided to attend the wedding at Cana.  After exhaustive research, drawing upon his many years of experience as a pastor and biblical theologian, Lucado says he believes there was one main reason for Jesus to show up at the wedding – fun.  Jesus figured he was going to have a good time.

 

Evidently he did.  So much so that he did his part to keep the party going.  He outdid everyone who has ever brought a bottle of wine to the host of a dinner party.  Wine, a symbol of conviviality and fellowship.  That which makes a wonderful meal even better.  But that was a later discovery.  It couldn’t have begun with that in mind.

 

At some point in time, someone ate a grape.  It was juicy, tasty and tasted like more.  But once picked, grapes don’t last long. 

 

Someone else liked the juice better than the meat of the grape.  They discovered that if you squished a bunch of them, you could gather enough juice for a nice drink.  But grape juice, apart from refrigeration, doesn’t last very long.

 

Someone else figured out that you could take some grape juice, add some yeast (or whatever it is you add to the juice), let it alone for awhile and, voila, you have fermented grape juice.  It tastes good.  It lasts a long time.  And it has the added punch of a little added punch.

 

Jesus made much of wine.

 

Jesus stood before a group of befuddled servants who were filling jugs with water.  He stepped away, leaving a wonderful vintage behind him.  Jesus reclined at the table in Matthew’s house, wine glass close at hand, friends all around, visitors wandering in and out.  Jesus took the cup of wine, the cup of redemption, and told his disciples it was the cup of the new covenant, in his blood, given and shed for them for the forgiveness of sins.

 

I began this week thinking about some of the basic gifts of creation – air, water, bread and wine.  Each day, I’ve discovered that each of these holds the mysteries of life.  They are all so simple, yet each holds a surprise.  They are gifts, but they are also tools.  All require the intricate inter-workings of creation.

 

We talk easily and often about God being around us all the time.  Do we see God in the air?  Do we feel God in the water?  Do we taste God in bread and wine?  Yes, to all of this, but only with the senses and taste buds of faith.

 

Let us pray: Dear Lord, you sustain our lives with the basic gifts of creation.  Today, as we eat and drink, we pray that we may do so with thankful hearts.  May we enjoy the party of life, a mere appetizer to the life to come.  As Jesus gathered for the fun of a wedding, may we today experience the joy of fellowship.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

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