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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 17th January, 2016 Epiphany 2 Year C, “You’ve saved the best to last”

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 17th January 2016, Epiphany 2

You’ve saved the best till last Isa 62:1-5, 1 Cor 12:1-11, Jn 2:1-11

Nuptial imagery rings through the Bible like a peal of wedding bells. Hardly surprising, then, that the first ‘sign’ of Jesus’ glory in John’s Gospel takes place at a wedding, and lifts the party to new heights.

This ‘sign’ begins a series; John underlines the second one too (4:54), and leaves us to work out the rest by ourselves. Though the point is debated, it seems likely that he intends the seventh (or perhaps it’s the eighth, the first of a new sequence?) to be the resurrection. The present sign takes place ‘on the third day’, pointing forwards to that great fulfillment.

But of course Jesus’ glory is revealed, as far as John is concerned, on the cross. There, when ‘the hour had come’ at last, Jesus’ strange question (literally ‘Woman what is that to you and to me?’) is replaced by ‘Woman, behold your son; son, behold your mother.’

As at Cana Jesus takes the Jewish purification-water and turns it into wine, so at Calvary he takes the Jewish Passover festival and transforms it into the great revelation-in-action of God’s glory and love. God has kept the best wine until now: Israel and the world look on in wonder as the true Bridegroom confounds custom and expectation, redeeming Israel and the world in a way neither would have imagined possible.

But let us pause to reflect on God’s choice of weddings and wine as signs of glory. When we leave church, would people mistake us for wedding guests? For party-goers? Why not? Do we do whatever he tells us? Have we seen his glory and believed?                                                                                                         (Adapted from Twelve Months of Sunday’s – Year C: Biblical meditations on the Christian Year, by Tom Wright, page 20-1).

Isaiah 62:1-5 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch.The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give.You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married.For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
John 2:1-11 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

 

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans, you were enticed and led astray to idols that could not speak. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking by the Spirit of God ever says “Let Jesus be cursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except by the Holy Spirit.

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.