How did he do it?

Epiphany 2c – Sunday 20th January 2012
John 2: 1-11

Glass of wineOk. I give in. Shed some light on this one. How did he do it?

Six stone jars, each with a 20 gallon capacity. Filled with water – on his command – and the next thing you know it’s the finest Merlot you can taste. How did he do it?

C.S. Lewis reflected on this in his book God in the Dock:
“God creates the vine and teaches it to draw up water by its roots and, with the aid of the sun, to turn that water into a juice which will ferment and take on certain qualities. Thus every year, from Noah’s time till ours, God turns water into wine.”

Of course, that is the long hand answer to this question, for good wine takes time to grow, to ferment, to mature. Even Beaujolais Nouveau takes 8 weeks from harvest to cork popping. How can you possibly circumvent that process by approximately 6 months and 18 minutes?

But what is time? The Psalmist pronounced that “For you, a thousand years are as a passing day, as brief as a few night hours.” Within that world view wouldn’t this miracle have been a stroll in the park? And the more I read this story the more I’m convinced it is a wonderful miracle.

It points to a miraculous life … and not just that of Jesus, but you and me too. Do you live a life of miracles? “No.” I hear you shout. “Life is pretty grim and grey and hopelessly devoid of miracles.” Let me give you a tip, fast forward your life, close your eyes and imagine you’re the passenger in your son or daughters car and you have one of those life-flashing-before-your-eyes moments. What do you see?

In the speeded up movie of my life I see many miracles that God has brought about. In fact, I’m amazed that I’ve missed so many of them in the ordinary day-to-day existence when life is slowed down to normal speed. How do I not see them? Miracles of love taking place around me. Extreme acts of generosity. Gracious, gracious forgiveness. Kindness, care and compassion. How have I missed all those miracles that have transformed my life so much? Perhaps because we can’t see the wood for the trees? Or the water for the wine? Recognising the creator in this story is as important as recognising the creator in my life. Seeing the miracle is only half the story. We need to see Jesus surrounded by his family, his disciples, his community to grasp the whole of this story.

And put those two halves together and you find the full glory of God shining into our hearts.

Praise God. Amazing. I’ll drink to that.

Happy days

About Neil Chappell

Husband, father, Congregational Minister and football fan all rolled into one convenient package.
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