The guests are present. The wine supply has been depleted. After a mother-and-son conversation, the six water jars, standing empty and ready for religious rituals, are filled with water. When they have been filled with water at Jesus’ request, a sample is drawn to give to the party planner, the steward. The water is no longer just water; the water has been turned into the most expensive wine available for consumption. It is a miracle!
Jesus says, “Fill those jars to the very brim” (ap). Jesus knows that this moment will be special. The ordinary water is about to become extraordinary wine. Expect abundance. Prepare well, for the best is yet to come.
We have come to expect just the ordinary. “Oh, today is just a regular day,” we say. “Nothing special happening this day—just routine, hum-drum.” We expect a dull routine of life—a wake up, go to sleep, live-until-we-die kind of daily existence.
The miracle of this story is on multiple levels. Yes, there is the miracle of water turning into wine. That is supernatural, and I cannot explain it. In many ways, however, the greater miracle is the expectation of a miracle. Jesus, anticipating that something good is about to happen, says, “Fill those jars to the very brim.”
In the midst of scarcity, our faith can be so strong that we go ahead with preparation for God’s work to be seen. The high school student who cannot possibly afford to go to college completes a college application anyway—“fill it to the brim.” The unemployed worker before the job search buys a new interview suit—“fill it to the brim.” The miracle of faith is simply this—“the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1).
On this day expect God to work in your life. And God will in both ordinary and extraordinary ways. Be prepared to “fill it to the brim.”
Popular conceptions of God sometimes mislead us. Messages coming even from within Christianity sometimes make us think that God is constantly angry, just waiting for us to slip up. This week’s readings remind us of the truth. Isaiah teaches us that God delights in God’s people just as a groom delights in his bride. This love, the psalmist proclaims, is steadfast and never-ending. The life of Jesus shows us that God even wants us to have a good time in this life. Jesus chooses a wedding as the place to perform his first sign. He multiplies the wine in order to multiply the enjoyment of the guests. Paul in First Corinthians speaks of spiritual gifts. These gifts are all given by God for the good of the entire community.
Read Isaiah 62:1-5. Recall a time when you have flourished and a time when your life was far from peace and order. How did you feel God’s delight in each situation?
Read Psalm 36:5-10. When have you felt God’s light, been quenched by the fountain of life, or taken refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. How can you use your God-given gifts to complement others’ and to support the common good?
Read John 2:1-11. How do Jesus’ miracles help you to understand his identity as the Son of God?
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