Summary: This sermon is designed to challenge believers to confront the areas of emptiness in there lives.
Solutions To The Soap Opera of Emptiness
John 2: 1-3
Over the next two months we will be looking at the seven signs or miracles that are found in the gospel according to John the beloved. Pregnant within the womb of each of these signs is a message about our master. Each of the signs is a portrait of the personhood of Jesus and reveal a sneak preview of his divinity. These signs not only reveal for us that Jesus is God incarnate but they also demonstrate His wiliness to meet the needs of our ever changing lives. Life for many of us is like a television soap opera series; it is one calamity after another. Just like the television soaps, our lives are filled with constant chaos, flooded with frustrations and irritations. We live on the edge of night, and we are searching for our tomorrows, hoping that our world will continue to turn.
I submit to you that life has its empty spots, in spite of all the glitter and glamour; deep beneath the surface lays an empty reservoir of lost dreams and hopes. Void and lack, plague our lives and prohibit our pursuits of fulfillment and satisfaction. All of us, in spite of our ages, wages, races and ethic identities, have to wrestle with the issue of emptiness. Empty marriages, ministries and even empty careers sadly are the norms of our times. Life with all of its commotions and promotions still leave us empty. Nike says “Just Do It” yet we are empty. Burger King says “Have It Your Way” yet we are empty. We pep and step, bling and ching, style and profile yet we are empty. The butler, the baker, and even the candlestick maker, lottie and Dottie and everybody are wrestling with this thing call emptiness! All the subjects, servants and those whom are served can’t escape cold harsh winter winds of emptiness.
The question that confronts us all today is how do we deal with those empty spots in our lives? How do we deal with failing and faulty finances, bankrupt relationships, broken homes and hopes? That leave us stranded on an island of suffering and sorrow like skipper and giligand. This morning our text is a textbook case of how to deal with emptiness. Let us peruse the perimeters of this passage and see what principles we can draw out to help us solve the soap opera of emptiness.
This first miracle of our Lord took place in a place called, Cana of Galilee. Let us observe the landscape and backdrop of this wedding. Cana was an inconspicuous and obscure little town that lay outside of Nazareth. Cana had no social significance in its day! Mary the mother of Jesus, and Jesus and his disciples had all been invited to the wedding. Cultural norms would have us to understand that this was a “peasant” wedding. Otherwise, Mary, of low estate would not have been there. Let us observe that Jesus ministry began in a small, and unimportant town. Let me add God does big things in small places.
Weddings then were a lot like weddings now; they were a big deal in the Jewish culture. The bride from a baby had been prepared all of her life for this moment. Please understand that for girls in Jewish culture from the moment they were born, they were never allowed to be alone with any male other than their father and brothers. The lack of virginity could be a disgrace and financial liability to her family. Protocol and practice required that if the bride were a virgin, the wedding would be held on Wednesday. If the bride were a widow, the wedding would be held on Thursday.
The wedding ceremony would take place late in the evening after a time of feasting. Please note that late in the evening means that the wedding took place at the dawn of the Jewish day. The father of the bride would take his daughter on his arm, and with the wedding party and parade through the streets of town so that everyone could come out and congratulate the bride. Finally the wedding party would arrive at the home of the groom. The wedding actually took place in the front door of the groom’s house.
After the ceremony the bride and groom walked through the streets accompanied by flaming torches. This trip could take hours, many guest would wait along the road and join the wedding party as the procession passed. Attendants would walk with them keeping a canopy over their heads.
Once the couple arrived back at the house of the groom, the groom would carry the bride over the threshold and then stand at the door as the processional party entered the house. All that were to be a part of the festivities had to enter the house before the door was shut. The couple kept open house for a week. They were treated like royalty. They dressed in fancy clothes and many times actually wore crowns on their heads. Whatever they desired was granted.