It’s time to celebrate, time to party. Come, see Jesus, the one who delights us, the one who delights in us, the one whose miraculous grace can change us into something beautiful.
In the middle of the longest and darkest month of the year, on an ordinary Sunday, devoid of celebration or feast, we come to you, O God of change and transformation, seeking a drop of the divine, a glimpse of your glory. Transform our day by changing our way of seeing, we pray. Amen
Lord God, we confess that the daily grind consumes us.
We struggle to see beyond the needs of day-to-day life.
We don’t lift our eyes to heaven for inspiration, let alone miracles.
We are chained to earthly demands.
Forgive us, Lord, for our lack of faith and imagination; we look to you for transformation.
Forgive us for failing to open our minds to the miracles of living; open our eyes, change our thinking and understanding.
Come, Lord, transform our way of being; make us vessels wherein the ordinary becomes extraordinary, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
Let us pray for the world and its people, for places of famine and epidemic, for war zones and disaster areas…
Let us pray for politicians and journalists, for all who work in the media, and those who have no one to speak for them…
Let us pray for the unemployed, for those who use local food banks and those who run them…
Let us pray for those who are ill, for the very old and very young and those who care for them…
Let us pray for the leaders of all our faith communities, for those who lead our partnership of churches, and for those who worship and pray in them…
Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer and reveal your glory. Amen.
Please read John 2.1-11
We often describe events as a miracle. The miracles performed by the NHS, the miracle of enemies finally getting around a negotiating table. I don’t know about you, but I’ve not seen a miracle like the one talked about in today’s reading. If I did, I’d be wanting to find a rational reason as to how it happened. I’d be suspicious of the phenomenon even though I have faith that God can and does perform miracles. We are shaped by the scientific and cynical culture we live in. Perhaps, we say, it is nothing more than a conjuring trick.
So, think about the person whose job it was to taste the wine. This ‘first drinker’ or ‘steward’ is no naïve fool, easily tricked. When he is offered the new wine, his first reaction is to come up with a rational explanation: given that people serve the good wine first, and then the poor wine once everyone is drunk, this must mean that the host is exceptionally generous!
The power of the miracle lies not in how it was brought about, but in what it shows us about Jesus as God’s Son. In the middle of an ordinary event, a wedding, God reveals his unprecedented hospitality. God upends the expectations. In the ordinary run of things, the best wine is served first; in God’s reality, our expectations are turned upside down. The miracle happens on ‘the third day’. It is a foreshadowing of God’s definitive work of love: the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after his crucifixion. In John’s Gospel, miracles always proclaim God’s love for us in the middle of our ordinary lives.
Do we look for the extraordinary in the ordinary? Do we want the extraordinary, the abundance that Jesus has to offer us, or are we happy trudging along with the ordinary? Where is Jesus doing the extraordinary in our lives and our communities? Where do we look for miracles in the everyday?
May Jesus Christ, changer of water into wine, taker of the ordinary in our lives, transform us for his glory, and make us extraordinary for his sake.
Let us live this week with God’s miraculous grace brimming up inside us, taking with us that abundance of love and power, and sharing it with everyone we meet. Amen.
Suggested Listening In Heavenly Love Abiding – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3QVoYv1bmg Jesus, You Are Changing Me – www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEmlM3Gqvjg Our God (Water You turned into wine) – www.youtube.com/watch?v=iO-qvwgTq2Q Ordinary – www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc5t0rjxCbY