Der Vasken's Sermon on January 14, 2018
Jan 15, 2018
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
There's an expression, we all know, that says: "Great things happen in threes." Well, that seems to be true even in the church. Today continues a set of events that announced to the world Who Jesus Christ is. Today's Bible reading tells us of a third Epiphany, or a third revelation. We know that the first Epiphany happened to the three Wise Men and to the shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem when Jesus was revealed as the Savior of all people. The second was at His baptism, when Jesus was revealed as the One sent down from Heaven to free us of our wrongdoings. And the third is the miracle at Cana, when Jesus is revealed as the One Who can change water into wine.
Of course, this miracle is about much more than that. This miracle is about the power of Christ to change not only water but our lives as well. We heard in today's Bible reading that this miracle is called a "sign" because it points beyond itself. It points beyond itself to what God can do in our lives today--right now. It's about God changing the ordinary things of life into the extraordinary. The Miracle of the Wedding of Cana is read, or referred to, at every wedding service to show Christ's blessing on marriage, but this miracle can also be seen as the third Epiphany revealing exactly Who He is. The word "epiphany" means revelation or disclosure. So when we put the visit of the Wise Men and His Baptism, together with the Miracle of Cana, it can be seen as a "rolling epiphany" revealing to the world Who He is. He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Mighty God and the Prince of Peace
So what's the take-away from this story? First, that the ministry of Jesus is about to begin full swing; second, that He can change water into wine, but thirdly, He can change much more than that. He can change our past into a different future. He can change our talents and our skills to help us do the work of God in this world. In other words, the story of the Wedding of Cana is only the tip of the iceberg. It's a revelation. There is much more coming and there is much more yet to be said. Where He performed this miracle is also out of the ordinary. Jesus performs His first miracle at a wedding in the little-known town of Cana--an hour north of Jerusalem. His first miracle was not performed in a great city by any means. His first miracle was not a miracle of walking on water or feeding 5,000 people or healing someone of a terrible illness. His first miracle changed water into wine at a wedding to save a young couple from embarrassment. Bible scholars look at this miracle and find many more messages in it, but the fact that Jesus met the simple need of a couple is also important.
People too often tend to think that if they can't do a great thing, then they shouldn't do anything. Yet, God can do great things in the ordinary places of our lives:
- Parents teaching their children about faith;
- Visiting someone in the hospital;
- The work of a teacher in the classroom;
- The time spent with a worried neighbor;
- Offering encouragement to a friend;
- Or sharing words on a wedding day that come from experience.
These are all places where the glory of God can be revealed. These are all places where God can change the ordinary into the extraordinary. Something doesn't have to be big to be important. Jesus was simply a guest at a wedding and there He encountered a need.
Let me end with this. We are called to follow God, not in the places of our choosing, but here and now in this place, at this time, among these people, facing these issues. We might want it to be different but it isn't. Here and now is the path that leads to God. The story of Cana reminds us that great things can happen in any place and in every place. We don't have to go to the Town of Cana to know the power of Christ in our lives. Here and now, He can change our days into better tomorrows. He can change our past into a different future. He can turn our talents into gifts that will serve His Church and His people. Here and now, He can turn the ordinary things of our lives into places of the extraordinary.
So let's ask ourselves now that Jesus has been revealed to us for a third time in as many weeks:
- What is your image of Him?
- Are you open to allowing the ordinary things of your life to be changed into the extraordinary?
Here and now, He can turn the ordinary things of our lives into places of the extraordinary.