Friday, January 18, 2019

Water and Wine

This week, we hear one of the miracle stories from the Gospel of John: the story of Jesus transforming water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana. It is one of the many stories we tell during the season of Epiphany that manifest Jesus's divinity. Epiphany is the season when we contemplate the implications of the Incarnation, that God became human out of love for us.

The point of this miracle story, like many others, is that Jesus didn't just live among us so that God could share our humanity. God came among us as one of us, so that he could transform us into a new creation. The effect of Jesus on ordinary people was that he showed them what lay hidden inside of them. Sometimes, what he showed them was untapped potential. Just as water could become wine, people could become more than they appear to be on the surface. Sometimes, Jesus showed them the less pleasant things inside of them, like hypocrisy, fear, and selfishness. He got into a lot of trouble for that.

Overall, though, the message is a positive one; because Jesus always maintained that we could choose the kind of person we became. We don't have to accept superficial appearances. We could aspire to be something different, something new, something surprising.  We don't have to be just water; we can be wine--the very best wine. That is a message for each of us, as well as for our parish as we embark on a new year, full of untapped potential and endless possibilities.

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