Today’s Author: Paul Sponheim

Christians have a stake in history. Things happen. Actions bring consequences. History matters. Our faith roots that mattering in none other than God. Isaiah has God saying “I am about to do a new thing.” This gospel of John we are studying these weeks declares “The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (Jn. 1:17) This newness stuff matters to us. We stand on tiptoe to claim the word of the bible’s last book: ”See, I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)  This word is not a knock on the law and the prophets. What did Jesus say when he got in trouble for healing on the sabbath? He said “The Father is still working and I also am working.” (John 5:17) We don’t give up the Creator when our faith turns to Jesus. 

The wedding at Cana story gives us plenty of hints about God doing new things through the man from Nazareth. Remember how strangely Jesus responds to his mother’s anxious reporting of the shortage of wine: “My hour has not yet come.” He’s looking ahead, isn’t he? There is an hour coming that will have decisive meaning. The first chapter of John’s gospel has that powerful opening overture: “The Word became flesh.” (Jn. 1:14) Must we not say that none other than the God who created a million universes has a new experience: becoming flesh as a baby at a mother’s breast. The baby become-a-man looks ahead to the story’s ending. 

It’s glorious, isn’t it? God dwelling on earth with us fragile, finite creatures! John thinks so. In his first chapter John follows up that wondrous word about the Word becoming flesh by saying “we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.” (Jn. 1:14) So it follows in this second chapter that the wedding at Cana in Galilee story ends by declaring that this first of Jesus’ signs “revealed his glory.”(v. 11)  Can any good come out of Nazareth? Well, how about the salvation of the world, the world God so loved? (Jn. 3:16) . And where does that leave us? If the ordinary is a candidate for the miraculous if God keeps God’s promise by doing something extraordinary in the babe from Bethlehem, what follows for you and me? Well, tomorrow awaits us.

O God of Rejoicing, we give thanks that in the gift of Jesus your Son you have become present with us to mark each of our days, and the important moments of our lives, with the sounds and the spirit of rejoicing. For in your presence among us is our true joy. Amen.
(God Pause, January 13, 2022)

Mid-week devotions are authored by members of our community.  If you are interested in creating a trio of reflections to be shared on an upcoming Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, contact Pastor Peter.