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A Message from our Priest-in-Charge 8/7/2020

 

REFLECTION

Do you remember all the way back to when you could be invited to a party without the word “Zoom” in the invitation? The memory is fading, but the reality is that Zoom is something of a lifesaver. It’s definitely not the same as being together, but we can at least see and hear each other in a group, whether it is a meeting or a party. Speaking of parties, I was reading the Gospel from the daily lectionary and it’s about a party, a wedding party to which Jesus’ mother, Jesus and his disciples were invited and attended. Typically, a wedding feast would last several days after the marriage, sometimes a week. It was the responsibility of the groom and his family to provide everything that was needed for the celebration, and it was a great embarrassment not to have sufficient food and wine.

In John’s Gospel, the only one which records this particular wedding feast, the story begins with just that embarrassment, a shortage of wine. Of course, you know the rest of the story. Mary informs Jesus of the situation and after a brief discussion he has the ceremonial water jars filled, and has the servants dip wine from the jars. The wine is taken to the master of ceremonies, normally a friend of the groom, who declares it to be the best wine yet. Certainly the groom and his family were thrilled with this aversion of a social disaster.

But, what has that to do with us beyond being an interesting story without much contemporary significance? The fact is, it does have a great deal of contemporary significance. John asserts in the first verse of his Gospel that the Word, the preincarnate Christ to use the technical term, God the Son, was God. He also affirms that the Word was the agent of creation, “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” The story of the wine at the Cana wedding feast was John’s verification that Jesus did, in fact, exercise mastery over the creation. There will be more stories in John’s Gospel to affirm this, but here is the start.

Many people now, both inside the church as well as outside, take Jesus very casually. We routinely end our prayers with the phrase, “in Jesus’ name,” without really expecting very much. We should remember that we are invoking the name of the One through whom everything that exists was created. And that is a powerful invocation. The final scene in one of my favorite movies, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” from C. S. Lewis’ book, shows Aslan the lion, the Christ figure in the story walking away. As he goes, one who is watching him says, “Remember, he is not a tame lion.” Indeed, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is not tame, and it would be well for us to remember that also.
    
Blessings,
Alan+


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