Herald Journal Columns
Nov. 18, 2002
Pastor's Column

The miracle of turning water into the best wine

By Rev. Grant Bode
St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Marriage. How did we ever in this world get the idea of people marrying?

Have you ever pondered that question. Every culture has marriage. There is not one culture that I know that that doesn't.

Marriage.

The root of marriage is answered in the Bible. The Bible is the "Answer Book" for everything. And that makes good sense. After all, the Bible is God's Word, and who else is an authority on everything, but God who is omniscient (all knowing).

God established marriage. God established the unit called a family ­ a husband and wife (one man and one woman) united together in wedlock. We read in Genesis that Adam was created first and woman was created out of Adam and God brought them together.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh (Genesis 2:24).

Marriage is the place for sexuality, for children. This was God's plan for humanity. A good plan. A good set up.

John chapter 2 begins with a wedding. Jesus approved of marriage. Although he was not married, we know some of his disciples were. Peter for instance was married.

Here in our lesson Jesus at the beginning of His ministry is invited to a celebration . . . a wedding feast.

Wedding festivities lasted for days during Jesus' time. Life was hard. Celebrations were enjoyed and stretched out as much as possible to squeeze out every drop of pleasure and joy.

But something happens at this wedding. The wine runs out.

In Biblical days, wine was considered a gift of God. Noah, when he got off the ark, planted what? A vineyard . . . and he had a little too much wine also, as we read in Genesis.

Wine was joy.

To get good wine you had to have a good year of perfect weather, sun, and rain. To get good wine you have to have peace and prosperity. During war and upheaval the vines often went unattended, so good wine, good friends, good food ­ just like today ­ were symbolic of good times.

But here in the midst of the wedding the joy has run out ­ the wine is gone. Who can restore joy? Who can restore the wedding feast?

Who? Jesus. Only Jesus.

Mary knew this so she, hearing of the dilemma, came to her son and told him the situation.

Jesus basically says, "Mother, my time of glory is not now, it will come later" And yet, Jesus keeping the Fourth Commandment, listens to his mother Mary and does for her her request. And she in turn tells the attendants "whatever my Son tells you to do, do it."

We all need a mother like Mary ­ someone to say to us, "Whatever my Son, Jesus says to you ­ do it." We all need that prodding to move us along in our faith.

And what does Jesus say? "Believe. Share, live, speak the gospel."

Jesus took the six stone water jars filled with water to the brim and changed the water into wine. The joy is back. Jesus had restored the joy of the wedding feast there in Cana of Galilee.

This is the first miracle Jesus performed, and Jesus did many miracles. How many?

Well, listen to John. "Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book" (John 20:30). "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written" (John 21:25).

John, the evangelist that tells us about this wedding feast, also tells us in Revelation about another one to come at the end of days.

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready.

Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God" (Rev. 19:7-9).

Brothers and sisters, you have the wedding invitation (the Gospel). Your name and place is reserved. All you have to do is RSVP.

Respond and hold fast to the hope. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved" (Mark 16:16). The marriage feast of the Lamb ­ may we all be there to lift our cup and celebrate of wedding of eternity.

Amen.


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