Pastor Lorraine's Sermon for October 19, 2003
A Glimpse of His Glory
Jesus has been identified as the "Lamb of God" by John the Baptist
He has started gathering his disciples-but not all of them have been called
Nathanael recognized the Messiah when he told him he had seen him under the fig tree
picking up with the end of John 1-read John 2:1-12
It's fascinating to me that the first glimpse of Jesus' ministry takes place at a party…
Jesus was probably about 30
He and his newly formed band of disciples showed up at a wedding
Jesus' mother was there-and probably other family as well
Cana is a town in Galilee-we're not sure where, but somewhere in the highlands
It's Nathanael's hometown
A wedding was a big celebration in the life of people
The celebration often lasted a week
Bridegroom and his friends made a gala procession through the streets
to fetch the bride's party by torchlight
Then all went to the groom's house for a feast worthy of royalty
Think of Fiddler on the Roof…
Of peasant Jewish families dancing across the courtyard
in their finest embroidered clothes
Of music and laughter
Of banquet tables laden with platters of food
and jugs of wine
The feast might go on for as long as a week
-as long as the food and wine and good cheer held out
Weddings were a time of great joy
Some of those with Jesus had originally been followers of John the Baptist
This must have seemed a bit raucous
After all with John the Baptist they had a very simple diet and clothing
What was the conversation about?
Did the guests recognize them?
At this point John the Baptist and his disciples
were more well known than Jesus
We don't know-John doesn't say
Rather we hear of a social crisis in which the whole feast nearly ground to a halt…
…the wine ran out!
As emergencies go-this one falls well down the list as far as we're concerned
at least from the perspective of 2003
It caused embarrassment
But did it require a Messiah
who had come to heal the sick and free captives
to give us life…
Did a social faux pas need a Messiah? Yes!
In that day running out of wine
would have caused life long embarrassment
-the kind you never get over
Forever they would be known as
"the ones who ran out of wine at the wedding"
Jesus' Mother notices and tells Jesus "They're just about out of wine."
Jesus isn't ready for this one…
"Is that any of our business, Mother-yours or mine?
This isn't my time. Don't push me."
You can hear the weariness in his voice… the desire to let it be…
If he acts-it will mean his time had come
From then on his life would change
No longer would he be free to do as he desired
If the word got out-he'd never be alone again
They would come from everywhere-in crowds
sick and lame
deaf and mute
It wouldn't end until he died-that he knew
Then Jesus makes a decision
It won't be the last time he changed his plans
to accommodate someone else
to put the needs of others first
to care about someone enough to take action
to save the reputation of someone
"Fill the pots with water"
There were 6 stoneware water pots that held 20-30 gallons
They were there for the ritual washings
The Jews must wash before eating
I wonder if the servants didn't assume Jesus wanted them refilled
for more ritual washing
But then he says to fill their wine pitchers
and take them to the host
I'm guessing there were some raised eyebrows at that
But being servants, they did as they were told
The host accepted the glass from the servants
He realized that something out of the ordinary has taken place
BUT, not the miracle of changing water to wine
RATHER, a departure from customary etiquette
"Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and
after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff.
But you've saved the best till now!"
It only adds to the joy and surprise of the wedding
The crisis is over-there's more wine
People don't seem to question where it came from-it's just there
The feast goes on
Most don't even know what happened
-only that there's more wine and it's good
But some know…
The servants-I wonder what they said to each other
When or if they realized Jesus was the Messiah
It was the first glimpse of his glory
Jesus' disciples believed in him
They echoed Nathanael's words
"Rabbi! You are the Son of God."
I wonder if they remembered Jesus response…
"You haven't seen anything yet!
Before this is over you're going to see the
heaven open and God's angels descending to
the Son of Man and ascending again."
This was life changing
We have seen a glimpse of God's glory… today
Through Scripture and the retelling of the story
Through understanding how it was to be at the wedding with Jesus
Through insight into the nature of God-who God is
Through the gift of Jesus to us today
Jesus allows us to see glimpsesssof his glory
It's all around-more
than we can comprehend
In nature-God's creation tells of God's glory
In God revealing glory to us personally
Those places where my water changes to wine
Not enough time becomes enough
Love gone sour rekindles
Forced retirement becomes an open door
Big and little glimpses of God's glory-but real
In realizing that God doesn't just "save the best for last"
God saves the best for NOW-the sacrament of the present moment
In the now it is God's best
In my now I have the fullness of God's best
Do I hold back?
Do I enter into the fullness of God?
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