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Water and Wine

Updated: Jan 23, 2019

January 21, 2019

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The Wedding at Cana

Scripture John 2:1-12

When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from, ... the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first… but you have kept the good wine until now."

John 2:9-10 NRSV

Jesus and some of his disciples, perhaps as few as four, went to a wedding at Cana. This happens before Jesus has begun his ministry, so he is still relatively unknown in the Gospel of John.The mother of Jesus also was at the wedding, which was likely a great celebration lasting several days, as was the custom. The wedding gets a lot of attention for many people who read these verses, and many will emphasize the presence of Jesus at this particular wedding. And yet, the persons being married and their families are never mentioned. Instead, running out of wine is the central theme and an opportunity for Jesus to exhibit a small portion of his amazing power. But, underneath it all is a story of great abundance. Water, which was normally set aside for purification rituals, has been transformed into wine, suddenly! In an instant, Jesus bypassed months of nurturing vines, harvesting grapes, and processing, fermenting, and storing the wine. And, it is of the highest quality. The reality for us is that this miracle mirrors the expectations we have for God at work in our lives. That is far deeper and more significant than an unexpected resupply of wine for a wedding! This is the miracle that continues for each of us today.

In the Gospel of John, it is the first miracle of Jesus. But, it is even more significant when we realize that this event introduces the overflowing gift of grace and forgiveness that comes from God in Jesus Christ. In our worship, water and wine are remembered in the church as sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s supper, or Eucharist. These spiritual resources never run out, thanks to the abundance of God’s love for us through Christ.

Following this wedding event in a small town in Galilee, Jesus and the disciples, and his mother, retreated to Capernaum, where preparations began for his full ministry: complete with healings, casting out demons, teaching, and preaching. Thankfully for each one of us, the overflowing love of God and the power of the Risen Christ continue without fail.

Stan Reid


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