Newsletter 20 January 2019
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This is a familiar story, rich in symbolism. It is the first ‘sign’ recorded in John’s Gospel. These ‘signs’ in John’s Gospel are miracle stories but John prefers to use the term ‘sign,’ as they point to something far more than just the miracle itself. John used these signs to encourage belief in his readers but they are also an invitation for us to understand something more of how God operates in our lives.
Jesus transforms the water which would be used for the Jewish purification rite. He takes something used to give life to people, and transforms it into something which brings joy, celebration and new life to the party. There are many messages we can take from this account: the ability of God to transform our lives, to transform that which is dead and stale. The abundance of wine (approx. 700 litres!) is a significant reminder of the abundance of God’s love for us, beyond our comprehension.
We could also focus on the role of Mary in this Gospel – she is the one who notices, she is attentive to the needs of those around her and brings this concern to Jesus. We might pray today that we too may be able to notice, to see, to intervene when we are faced with situations that need attention. This may be a situation of injustice or it may be a situation where something in our own lives or in our church has become dead and stale and is in desperate need of new wine.