Summary: Sermon for the 2nd Sunday after Epiphany, Year C
The First Of His Signs / John 2: 1 - 11
Intro: Out of curiosity, I went to my record book and counted the number of weddings that I have done over the course of my ministry. I have done a total of 115. Of all those weddings, the only ones I really remember are when horrendous things happened. If you are married, how much of your wedding day do you remember? . . . If you have ever planned a wedding you know all the work that is involved. The rehearsal is supposed to help everyone know exactly where to stand and what to do. With all the planning, preparation and practice things seldom go off without a hitch. The same is true here in this “wedding story”.
I. This story appears only in John. John includes 7 signs or miracles in his Gospel. A sign uses elements of our world to point to God’s presence, God’s glory among us. This is the first of those 7 signs.
A. Some people find this text troubling, even scandalous. The stumbling block for some is not so much the hint of magic. The problem for many is VS. 4 “Woman, why do you involve me? . . . My hour has not yet come.” The problem for some is what appears to be divine reluctance. How can we understand this seeming reluctance?
B. More wine at a wedding party that may contain a lot of drunken guests seems frivolous. Do we offer frivolous prayers and expectations of God? Is Jesus more than a cash and good dispenser? What about our “get me – give me – take me” prayers?
C. Although these may be true, we must understand that the emphasis in John is on divine control of timing. “My hour has not come.” God has a plan and everyone must be patient as it unfolds. Our society has an “I want it all and I want it now” attitude that is not according to God’s plan for our lives. Jesus must be guided by his inner calling from God and not by any human claim or authority, not eve his mother’s.
II. It is passages like this one about divine extravagance that make God’s absence in the face of poverty, suffering, and evil stand out to us. Perhaps you have asked yourself, “Why doesn’t God do something to end the suffering in the world?”
A. Some would say that it is not God’s hour. Every prayer is answered by God in one of three ways: Yes, No, or Not Yet!
B. Others would claim that God relies on human compassion to do the will of God. God relies on our intervention, doing what we can to assist with the ills of our world.
C. Still others claim God continues to need the heris of Jesus’ mother to go on prodding divine generosity.
III. VS. 5 – “His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Mary has the quiet confidence in her son’s ability to do something.
A. Jesus didn’t hold himself aloof from innocent human happiness. He got involved. Can we do less?
B. It’s called confident, faithful living. We must remember that God does not forget God’s own people. We often falter in our confidence in God because things don’t happen the way we want or according to our timetable.