Grace in Action


S (Scripture): John 2:1 Now on the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no wine left.” 4 Jesus replied, “Woman, why are you saying this to me? My time has not yet come.” 5 His mother told the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”

6 Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washing, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus told the servants, “Fill the water jars with water.” So they filled them up to the very top. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward,” and they did. 9 When the head steward tasted the water that had been turned to wine, not knowing where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), he called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the cheaper wine when the guests are drunk. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 Jesus did this as the first of his miraculous signs, in Cana of Galilee. In this way he revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

O (Observation): As we wade into the Gospel according to John, we see Jesus’ first of seven signs.  The first is significant to the reader, because it is the first little bit of Jesus revealing his true nature, publicly.  

As Karoline Lewis says in her reflections on this text on WorkingPreacher.org: “the miracle itself is not really what we are supposed to see, as miraculous as it is.”  So if this is about revelation…then what is Jesus revealing?

John’s Gospel opts to say less about Jesus, and let’s Jesus SHOW us what grace looks like through his signs.  Jesus reveals what grace sounds like…or in today’s case, what it TASTES like!  

We see wine in abundant proportions, and it is something SO good that we cannot ignore it.  

A (Application):  What is more effective: to tell you something or to let you experience it?  

I challenged my seminary professor:  isn’t an experience of some kind important to the faith?   His response, “Preach Christ, and him crucified.  That is all that is needed.”   I agree and disagree.  

I agree that this faith statement is the foundation of the Christian faith.   And as one believes in this statement, that faith moves from the head to the heart over time. 

Yet as a “feeling” type of person, I give a lot of weight to experiences.   I want to hear that Christ died and was raised for you and me.  And yet, I want to taste it and touch it and smell it.   I shouldn’t have to, but I do.  

As I gather around the font to baptize folks, I feel God’s Promise in the waters, hear the sounds of water lapping, and hear the coos and cries of the babies whose lives have been transformed. 

As I prepare and distribute Holy Communion, I taste the grace in the cup and on the paten.  I am renewed with abundant grace in just a taste of wine and bread.  

At times, I also see signs of Jesus in humanity around me.  I know our social media is full of headlines about racial tension and scrutiny of police these days.  Yet, if we listen to one another, we will see God’s grace in action.   In peaceful ways, we can be drawn closer to one another, by listening.   

P (Prayer): Jesus, continue to show us signs of grace in action all around us. Amen. 

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