Today’s Author: Paul Sponheim

What happened at Cana in Galilee surely sounds miraculous. So, what IS a miracle? I think it was Friedrich Schleiermacher who in 1805 offered his readers the sentence that a miracle is a religious name for an event. That’s maybe too simple and on Tuesday I made the point that there is something truly extraordinary in the change God works as water becomes wine at Jesus’ command. But today I invite us to take notice of the role of the ordinary in revealing the glory of God in the man from Nazareth. There’s a wedding here and wine is not rare in such settings. There’s water here; plenty of water.  There are servants and a steward of the wedding feast and there’s a mother named Mary and her son called Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matt. 1:21). 

Let’s start there. What’s a miracle? Well it is something happening to the ordinary. If we start there, we’d better be on our toes, because we have got plenty of that, don’t we?—the ordinary. I wonder how many kids this year were given a simple telescope as a Christmas gift. I wonder if James Webb got one when he was a kid. Well, anyway, his name is on the 11 billion dollar telescope that, when it begins operating in the mid-year, will take us back 113.5 billion years toward the Big Bang. What will the study of the infrared spectrum, the thermal radiation humans can’t see, tell us? We’ve got questions ready: “Where did we come from?” :”Are we alone?” 

Meanwhile, back here on the terra firma of earth, what might happen for us if we regarded the ordinary as a candidate for the miraculous? What might happen TO us? Consider the everyday contacts you will have this week. Could it be that God will bring something truly special out of those contacts? What was Mary’s word to the servants? “Do whatever he tells you.” So food for the hungry, water for the thirsty, visiting the lonely, welcoming the stranger, warm clothing in winter—We might be facing candidates for the miraculous.

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.