Welcome to the Cathedral Church of Saints Peter & Paul, Clifton.

Sunday 20th January 2019
Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Isaiah 62: 1-5     1 Corinthians 12: 4-11     John 2: 1-11

Water or Wine?

People who know nothing else about Christianity tend to know the story of Jesus changing water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana. It’s one of the most famous, along with the feeding of the five thousand. It should come as no surprise that St John puts it near the start of his Gospel – not because it’s a nice story, but because it says an awful lot about why Jesus came and what happens to those who believe in him. In fact, the miracle of the water into wine is about more than the contents of a few jars being transformed. It’s about Jesus’s power to transform people.

When John has finished recounting all the miracles, or signs as he calls them, he says that they were performed so that we might believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and by believing we might have life in his name. This is what the water changed into wine is all about. Jesus worked the miracle so that people would give credence to what he was teaching. The miracle reinforced his words. But if we stop at the bare facts of water into wine then we are missing the point. Jesus was saying that if we accept the good news he came to bring, then the whole quality of our lives will be transformed. No longer will we be water, but wine. And the wine that we will become is not found on the vin de table shelf but in the vintage section.

So much of our lives can be as dull as ditchwater, unfocussed, unpromising and unattractive. Isaiah described the Jewish people as ‘forsaken’ and ‘abandoned’ when he wanted to show how pointless and flat their existence seemed. But with God their life would be turned into joy, into a perpetual wedding feast. When we come in worship before our God we present gifts of bread and wine, and we ask the Holy Spirit to act upon them that they may become the body and blood of Christ. We can also bring our daily lives with all their ups and downs, hopes and fears, joys and tears. As we present our lives before God we ask that they too may be transformed in Jesus’s name. We ask him to take the water of our lives and turn it into wine.




Scripture Reflections (below) © Peter J Harrison 2019