Posts Tagged ‘sermon on John 2:1-11’

'[ F ] Juan de Flandes - The Marriage Feast at Cana (1496) - from the Polyptych of Isabella the Catholic' photo (c) 2012, Playing Futures:  Applied Nomadology - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Juan de Flandes – The Marriage Feast at Cana (1496) – from the Polyptych of Isabella the Catholic’ photo (c) 2012, Playing Futures:

Here is a sermon from my archives for the second Sunday after Epiphany that pairs the wine of John 2 with the bread of John 6.

A Stunning Abundance
A Sermon on John 2:1-12 and John 6:1-15, 48-59

When Jesus responded, “Ma’am, is this really our business?  My hour hasn’t come yet,” his mind was on the hour and the wedding feast that was yet to come.   But Mary his mother was not in the least put off by Jesus’ comment. She saw a need: the wedding wine ran out.  Whether it was a major or minor problem was beside the point.  Mary was sure Jesus could do something about it, and she was sure Jesus would do something about it.  Straightaway she turned to the servants and said, “Do whatever he tells you.”

For the people of the little village of Cana, wedding feasts were a joyful respite from the daily grind of hardship.  Wedding celebrations took place at the home of the bridegroom.  The partying lasted an entire week.  Wine was the beverage of choice because it symbolized joy, blessing, and even life itself.  It was also used for medicine, for healing and restoring life.  Indeed, the Old Testament prophets said that when the Messiah comes, the mountains are going to drip with wine!  Wine is going to flow like a river!

The groom’s family planned carefully and purchased the best wine they could afford.  To run out in the middle of the festivities was a painful embarrassment.  Mary and Jesus and their family may have been related to this particular groom.  In any event, she was close enough to the family and to the servants to see what had gone wrong, and to want to help.  Surely Jesus and his disciples could at least pool their resources and discreetly purchase enough wine to tide this family over.  “They have no wine,” she told him.  Matter of fact.

Some time later, Jesus saw a huge, hungry crowd approaching.  This time, Jesus pointed out the need.  “Where are we going to buy bread for all these people to eat?” he remarked to his disciple Philip.  Immediately Philip went to calculating the costs and considering the logistics.  It would cost more than six months’ wages to buy enough to give everyone even a tiny piece of bread.  Andrew added, “There’s a boy here who has five loaves of bread and two fish, but that’s nothing among so many.”  That’s not enough to even begin to go around.  It would feed one or two.  Now only 4998 or 9 to go.

Not enough wine.  Not enough bread.  It sounds familiar.  Who doesn’t know what it’s like not to have enough of something needed?  Not enough time.  Not enough energy.  Not enough money.  Running out of patience, running out of strength, running out of hope.

And even if there is enough for the moment, people are often afraid that there might not be enough later.  What if I lose my job, and especially what if I lose my job before all the children are through college?  What if my money runs out before my life runs out?  What if the church can’t come up with enough money to do all that needs to be done around here?  What if we run out? (more…)

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