From Pastor Tom for November: “Water into Wine”

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“Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” John 2:11

The first miracle of our Lord was performed in the country setting of Cana of Galilee. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding He was attending with
His disciples. It’s really a pretty insignificant miracle (if any miracle can be insignificant). No one is healed or fed or raised from the dead. Jesus begins
His public ministry by turning about 180 gallons of water into wine.

Wouldn’t you think that Jesus would perform His first miracle in Jerusalem and do something dramatic that lots of people could see? Wouldn’t you
want to start off with a big bang and collect lots of publicity and a large following?

Jesus with this miracle sets the tone for His entire ministry. He comes among us quietly and gently. And when He comes among us He blesses us in wonderful and powerful ways. Here is a bride about to be embarrassed in the worst way—to run out of wine on your wedding day would have been a major disaster. Here is this bride’s chance for a moment of happiness in an otherwise difficult existence and it is about to be ruined. And Jesus quietly performs His miracle. He has 6 jugs filled with water and
when they are poured into glasses out comes wine. And not just any wine but the very best of wine— and 180 gallons of it!

Water into wine. Moments of happiness are turned into a joy that never ends. This is the glory that the disciples witnessed. Jesus takes this day of
happiness for a bride used to a hardscrabble existence and turns it into a day literally overflowing with joy (can you imagine any wedding party drinking 180 gallons of wine?).

Water into wine. That becomes the deeper meaning of this parable, and a symbol for our life in Christ. Without Jesus, our lives are like water: important but kind of bland, tasteless, and a bit boring. With Jesus, our lives are transformed; life becomes vivid and sparkling and exciting.

Water into wine! That’s the glory of God and His work among us! Heartache into blessing. Pain into peace. Hatred into forgiveness. Depression into joy.
He takes the garbage of our life and recycles it into something new and wonderful. Our everyday, ho–hum existence is transformed into an amazing adventure that does not end.

That’s the glory that the disciples saw in our Lord. The disciples realized that Jesus can turn our precious moments of happiness into a joy that never
ends. Once the disciples believed that, they couldrisk anything and follow Him anywhere.

Jesus wants to turn the water of your life into the sweet wine of joy. The entertainer, Joe E. Brown, once said, “I have no understanding of the longfaced Christian. If God is anything, He must be joy.” That’s true! If God is anything, He is joy. And when this God of joy enters our hearts by faith,
He will fill us with His joy. The Christian experience must be one of joy. Jesus promises us abundant life. He tells us that He has come that we might
receive the full measure of God’s joy within us. And when Jesus is preparing His disciples for His death He tells them this: “Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy…I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name…ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:22-24).

Water into wine. It is the great gift of our God to each of us. May this God of miracles, quietly and gently, turn the water of your life into the wine of

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Tom

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