On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it.
When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
Have you ever prayed for a miracle?
Miracles are perceived interruptions of the laws of nature. The sun guarding battle to illuminate a promise. The sea being divided in to a passage of liberation.
Miracles are Divine participation of natural law to a spectacular end. The lame are made to walk. The blind are made to see. Water is turned to wine.
Miracles are statistical anomalies that bear witness to the majestic, mysterious power of God. There is no discernable way to ensure a miracle. Miracles are not to be controlled or wielded as one would wield a hammer. We cannot construct community with miracles only God can do that.
Miracles are available in your grocers isles & as seen on TV. Miracle drugs for your aches. Miracle cures for your infirmities. Miracle diets for your waist. Miracle Whip for your sandwich.
With all the miracles going around why is there so much hurt, so much anger, and so much pain in this world?
We are not chasing miracles; we are chasing the American Dream. Pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps we seek to grab a big slice of the American Pie. Miracles occupy that space once reserved for compassion and that communal spirit of church, family, and God. Miracles are no longer intervention of natural laws to a divine end but a cry for help in the wilderness. People with desperate needs and little hope looking for a way out of the injustice and oppression of bondage to a political and economic system that does not offer much in the way of hope and peace.
We have become addicted to the necessity of miracles and have departed course of human events that dissolve political bands and highlight the equality of all earth’s citizens. Any self-evident truth is clouded by the aggressive march backwards to a religious tyranny, devoid of corporate suffering. This has delivered to the backs of many burdens beyond comprehension for the sake of a few. The miracles in this view are used to keep oppression fed and sooth the heartsick soul bound in the bondage of hopelessness.
Yet, as a nation, we are obsessed with miracles. Miracles in our context deliver us from hard work. Miracles cure decades of bad practice. Miracles divided a community and inspire more “us and them.” Miracles have lost their salt.
Look at today’s text, Jesus’ first miracle. He turns water in to wine. This miracle has been used to divide folks in to camps, Teetotalers and some sort of Christian hedonist. They are polarized opposites with very little ground to cooperate with each other.
This passage has been used to fashion an argument against teetotalers. It has been used to point to the quiet before the storm, the darkness before the dawn, the goodness that is to come if we just wait on the Lord. This passage has been argued thousands of times. For many communities that suffer the ravages of alcoholism or substance abuse this passage is a very difficult one to hold on to or engage with Jesus all front and center in this story. Jesus turns water in to wine.
It is argued that the wine Jesus made is not the kind that gets you drunk. You and I know that if someone wants to get drunk and they are determined, they will indeed get drunk. This passage has also been used to point to the celebration of life in the face of an austere Pauline theology of waiting for the immediate return of Jesus. The wedding at Cana is infamous.
I do not want us to looking at this passage and walk away from it with “The best comes later, just wait.” or “We just have to hold on and we will get the best blessing.” We can do better than this. We are not afraid to strive with the word of God, to embrace the faith of a child and ask questions until we understand. Our faith is constructed not just of faithful endurance but we wield a healthy dose of doubt and skepticism.
This passage when used to affirm or counter a case for drinking falls short of Jesus’ intent. Jesus turned water in to wine to fashion community. The miracle in this instance broke through the limits of natural resources and delivered to us a fully stocked community. The miracle transformed the community in spite and with the actions of all present.
Jesus turning water in to wine returned the course of human events to the dissolving human division that we use to separate ourselves into tiers of privilege and prosperity. With this Jesus made the high places low and the filled in the low places. Jesus delivered equality. Community was transformed and community was left with the indelible mark of divine intervention.
This miracle occupied the spaces that divided us and brought us back to compassion, community, and hope. The desperate needs of many we answered by one. The cries for help were heard. Jesus inspired action. That action led to the fulfilling of dreams.
The American Dream is replaced with the Kingdom of God. Where the streets are not paved with gold but with liberation from oppression. Gone is the desperation and injustice that plagues these days. Dreaming dreams is the national pastime. Gone is the need of miracles. That is a dream worth dreaming.
The dream Dr. King speaks of is not built of miracles. It is fashioned of hard work, diligence, and togetherness. Together we are a beacon of light and a bastion of hope. Diligently we must pursue justice. Hard work must be or plight. The self-evident truths we hold are shared and celebrated without impunity. The people’s desperation is our desperation. The hopelessness that haunts the hearts and minds of this nation rests in our capable hands. Miracles need not apply. What will we do to bear witness to Thy Kingdom Come? How shall we live On Earth as it is in Heaven?
Our response to this is the real miracle. When we no longer pray for miracles but we live to be a miracle to others.