When I started to think about Jesus’ first miracle at the Wedding at Cana this week, the first image that came to mind was Rowan Atkinson’s parody of a Church of England Vicar telling this story. ‘On the third day there was a marriage ag Cana of Galilee and it came to pass that there was no more wine…..’ It’s a very irreverent take on the story of course, but still worth watching!
This is the first miracle attributed to Jesus in the Gospels. St John calls it a sign, which makes it a perfect story for Epiphany and the second of the signs that Jesus was no ordinary man, but the Messiah. The story is set at what was clearly a family wedding. There would have been music, dancing and abundant wine, flowing freely. Jesus’ mother Mary seems to have been deeply involved in the organisation of the event, and when the wine runs out, long before it should have, she comes to Jesus. If the guests knew that the wine had run out, the bride’s family would have suffered untold shame and dishonour. Jesus rescues the situation as he turns huge pots full of water into wine. This was an enormous quantity of wine – twenty to thirty gallons per jar for six jars, or about 600 litres – way too much for any party! And this was no rough red, but the very best wine imaginable.
This miracle, this sign, shows us what God is for us. The God that Jesus reveals here is about abundance and extravagance. God bestows grace upon us, beyond anything we could ever expect or deserve. God offers us gifts beyond what we could ever expect or deserve. God is willing and able to answer prayer beyond what we expect or deserve. This miracle shows us that God offers us abundant life, life that is to be celebrated, life that is to be grasped and lived in joy and faith.
In peace, Mother Lynda
Gospel Reading: John 2:1-11