Have you ever attended a large wedding – one with a huge crowd of people? It takes a very long time to plan a large wedding. The bride and groom first have to plan for the ceremony. They often meet with a minister to talk about their love for each other, and their plans for the future. With the minister, and musician, they plan the wedding ceremony. They have to plan who will be part of the ceremony, what songs and readings to include, what flowers they will have, and what they will wear. Many weddings have a reception or feast afterwards, with delicious food and drink for everyone, and that also has to be planned. At some time during the feast everyone raises a glass of wine or juice to bless the bride and groom.
Planning a wedding is complicated. Most people who have planned a wedding will tell you that something did not go as hoped. The lesson that you will hear on Sunday is the story of the wedding at Cana, in Galilee – where something might have gone wrong. (John 2:1-12) It is the story of Jesus’ first miracle.
Many people attended this wedding. Jesus’ mother was there; Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. During the feast, Jesus’ mother, Mary, came to Jesus and told him: “They have no more wine.”
Jesus answered, “Dear woman, why come to me? My time has not yet come.” But his mother Mary would not take “No.”
There were six large stone water jars nearby. The people of Jesus’ time used jars like these in their washing ceremony, before they attended worship. Each jar held about 20 or 30 gallons!
Jesus told the servants to fill the jars with water – and they filled the jars to the top. Then Jesus told them to take some out of the jar and give it to the master of the feast, who was in charge of all the food and drink.
The servants took the water to the master. When he tasted it, the water had become wine. He did not know where the wine came from. But the servants who brought the water knew. The master of the wedding called the bridegroom and said to him: “People always serve the best wine first. Later, after the guests have been drinking a lot, they serve the cheaper wine. But you have saved the best wine till now.”
On this day in Cana of Galilee, Jesus performed his first miracle. He turned ordinary water into wine.
Have you ever carried 2 gallons of milk or water at once? How about 4 gallons? How about 20 gallons? The servants watched as Jesus turned 6 large jars of water into wine – that is about 150 gallons of wine! When Jesus turned water into wine, he did not solve the problem by giving just a bit of wine for a toast. He gave the best, and he gave generously.
While you and I can’t turn water into grape juice or milk or wine, we CAN turn ordinary things into something wonderful. Quilters take small pieces of fabric and turn them into beautiful quilts that can keep us warm. We can plant small seeds that grow into beautiful flowers or yummy vegetables. We can use our imaginations to create items out of wood or fabric or paper and to share it with someone. Valentine’s Day is coming soon. There are many members and friends of the church who need a little love. Perhaps you can make some valentines to share with them.
Sharing Love with Your Neighbors
The cold days of January and February are a wonderful time to make beautiful things. The AVC Care Team and the Children’s & Family Ministry Team invite kids, teens, parents and anyone who likes to make Valentines, to make one or more for the people on our care list. Your valentines could be large or small, and made of paper, yarn, fabric, heart-shaped rocks or wood or anything else!
The Care Team has a list of approximately 40 people. Valentine makers can return their Valentines to the church mailbox in a labeled bag or large envelope, no later than Friday, February 11th or we can tell you where to deliver the Valentines you make.
Please let me know if you’d like to deliver cards yourself, and Jaye Whittier will send you a list of names and addresses.
Please email or text me with any questions, and share this message with friends of all ages who might enjoy this project.
Each of us is blessed to be part of a community that cares about their neighbors. Each of us is blessed to be a blessing to others.
Here is a wonderful song that Kathleen Adams shared from Thich Nhat Hahn’s Plum Village: Peacefully Free.
May you be able to share your love and may you know that you are loved, embraced and peacefully free.