Summary: My focus in this sermon is Joy
Sermon for Sunday, June 2, 2013
The First Sign – the Wedding at Cana
1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.
2Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.
3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine."
4 And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come."
5 His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.
7 Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he said to them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast." So they took it.
9 When the master 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 master of the feast called the bridegroom
10 and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now."
11This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.
Sermon Goal: He gives us joy!
The Problem: Sometimes we end up empty, robbed and devoid of our joy. Jesus needs to fill us back up!
First, a little backdrop – how are we talking about joy when this is a miracle about wine?
Not only is this a sign and a miracle – the first of seven that Jesus performed as notated in the book of John demonstrating that He was the messiah – but it is full of symbolism and rich in meaning.
It is ironic that many Christian congregations – maybe some of us today – have a tendency to get lost on the issue of the “wine” today – whether it was real, whether it wasn’t – whether it is ok to embrace it today – and they are missing the entire point of this particular passage when they twist this and other contexts to support their position on prohibition or the lack thereof.
I do, however, want to point out what wine, not drunkenness, stood for at least in the Old Testament day – it stood for joy! Wine – never drunkenness, but wine was a sign of joy and God’s blessings.
Psalm 104: 14-15 –
14 You cause the grass to grow for the livestock and plants for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food from the earth
15 and wine to gladden the heart of man, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen man's heart.
9 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
10 then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
27 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, "Drink of it, all of you,
28 for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
29 I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."
Wine may represent different things to some of us today, but at the “here and now” of Jesus’ life, he was at a wedding in which wine was being served – it was a wedding, an occasion of life, hope, and joy!
So here we are at the third day of this week in Jesus’ life and ministry – we already started this week back in April when we were talking about the calling of the first few disciples. So this is the third day – 2 days after Jesus’ encounter with Philip and Nathanael.
I’d like to chase this metaphor and talk about joy this morning. What is true joy? How do we get it? What do we try to substitute for it?
If “the joy of the Lord is my strength” as it is quoted in Nehemiah 8:10, why are we in a world full of Christians who are no more joyful, no more happy, and no less in despair than the rest of the world?
Perhaps, as CS Lewis puts it, we forget who is our source of joy –