This sermon was preached by Deacon Diane Young on January 20, 2013.
A couple of moments ago I read you the story called “the Wedding at Cana.” How many of you had heard this story before? So you probably weren’t surprised when Jesus turned the water into wine. I imagine that you heard the words “wedding” and “Cana” at the beginning of the reading and you thought to yourself, Oh, yeah– water …wine.
Although this is an important story—the first of Jesus‘s signs, John says, a glimpse of his glory—although it’s an important story and a beautiful story, after we’ve heard it or read it a number of times, the miracle doesn’t quite have the kick it had when we first heard it, maybe when we were kids. It’s like a story your uncle tells every year, that you can practically recite along with him, and you chuckle at the right time but you’re not really…laughing. It’s just too familiar.
What strikes me as I read this is that, even the Gospel writer, writing this story down for the first time, seems to find it too familiar. He writes it like this: Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’ So they took it. When the steward had tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom….
“When the steward had tasted the water that had become wine…” The miracle here is given almost as an aside, as though we already knew what was going to happen. So we’re not the only ones who take this story for granted.
I wonder, how can we take stories that we have treasured, have inscribed on our hearts, and hear them anew as something surprising, something unexpected? Continue reading