Summary: A sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany The wedding at Cana

2nd Sunday after the Epiphany

John 2:1-11


2:1* ¶ On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there;

2* Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples.

3* When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”

4* And Jesus said to her, “O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”

5* His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6* Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.

7* Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

8* He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” So they took it.

9* When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom

10* and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

11* This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen

There is a protest song from the 60’s by the Five Man Electrical Band entitled "Signs", which I think is a good introduction to our gospel lesson this morning.

Listen to part of the lyrics:

And the sign said,

"Long-haired freaky people

Need not apply."

So I tucked my hair up under my hat

And I went in to ask him why.

He said, "You look like a fine upstandin’ young man.

I think you’ll do."

So I took off my hat and said, "Imagine that.

huh, me workin’ for you."

Whoa, sign, sign.

Everywhere a sign.

Blockin’ out the scen’ry.

Breakin’ my mind.

Do this. Don’t do that.

Can’t you read the sign

And the sign said, "Everybody welcome.

Come in. Kneel down and pray."

But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,

I didn’t have a penny to pay

So I got me a pen and a paper

And I made up my own little sign.

I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me.

I’m alive and doin’ fine."

Whoo! Sign, sign.

Everywhere a sign.

Blockin’ out the scenery.

Breakin’ my mind.

Do this. Don’t do that.

Can’t you read the sign?

Whoo! sign, sign everywhere a sign. There are signs all around us. Traffic signs, stop signs, advertising signs, welcoming signs, keep out signs, all kinds of signs.

In our gospel lesson this morning, it says:"This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him."

And what was this sign? Changing water into wine! What a first sign!

A sign uses elements of our world to point to God’s presence, God’s glory among us. A sign, water to wine, a sign, bread and wine, Jesus’ body and blood, a sign, water, cleansing, new birth, a sign. God’s signs of his presence are all around us. As God’s children, God has been signing us, showing us His presence, showing us his presence among us in many different ways.

All around us are signs of God’s glory. The sky, the water, the earth itself, people, you and me. We are all signs of God’s presence in this world.

And in our gospel lesson, there is an unique sign of God’s glory through his son Jesus Christ.

Jesus and the disciples had gone to a wedding. In Jesus day, a wedding was a major festival which could last several days. Usually, the best food and wine were served first so that many people could enjoy the very best of the celebration. Then something happened. The wine ran out. Either the groom or the groom’s parents had not planned on such a crowd, or not enough wine was delivered. What ever the case, the wine ran out. You need to remember that in Jesus day, wine was like water to us. The water was not good, but when it was used to distill wine, it became healthy again.

The wine ran out. Mary, being a friend of the family found out and depending upon her eldest son as she usually did since Joseph died, goes to him with the problem. His response on the surface may seem abrupt, and rude, but it really isn’t because the English doesn’t translate the Greek or Aramaic very well. I don’t know what Mary thought Jesus could do? Maybe find some more wine, maybe try to substitute something else. But she turned to Jesus for help, Jesus answers "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." A strange answer, but on further examination, not so strange. The word woman is translated better, lady, or dear woman, a sign of respect and honor. The rest can be better translated, "Don’t worry; you don’t quite understand what is going on; leave things to me, and I will settle them in my own way."

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