Daily Readings, Day Five
October 2, 2017
John 2:1-12 (NRSV)
2 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars 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 chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward 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 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.
Once upon a time, there was a god named Dionysus. Child of a human mother and born again of a god-father, he leads a procession of mad, dancing females, followed by hungry, bearded satyrs with erect phalluses. Should life prove too violent or discouraging or merely too mundane, he represents the wine and the sex and the religious rituals that can give you a few moments of ecstasy to escape for a spell.
Into this Dinosyian world, John says there is another god-man who talks about being born again. He too it seems can be present in moments associated with fertility – in this case a wedding – and he too can make the best of wine. Jesus, though, is modest in his entry. He doesn’t thrill, but serves; in fact, he lays down his life for his friends.
The wine of Jesus also goes down smooth, without the usual day-after regret. In fact, Jesus is stirred to action to remove and prevent the shame this family would have experienced had they run out of wine at such an important family event.
And the world that Jesus inhabits isn’t mundane or ordinary in the least. In fact, this world is becoming something new entirely. This moment at the wedding is just the first signpost. More and more, with Jesus around, we will see the light and beauty and renewal that will make us say, “Glory!”
Have you run out of wine in any space in your life? What does that lack feel like? Invite Jesus to bring the very best there.