With today’s Gospel reading you could legitimately ask the question; ‘How on earth does turning water into wine reveal to us the Glory of God?’
Obviously, there is the quick answer that it demonstrates Jesus to be the best wedding guest ever and it dispels the arguments that as Christians we are not to party or celebrate. I suppose you could even argue the case to always invite the clergy to the reception in case lightning strikes twice!
Joking aside, today’s reading is one of the critical moments within the Gospel narrative. One day when he was around thirty years old, Jesus and his friend showed up at a wedding. Weddings in Israel typically lasted seven days. Families were known to invite large number of people, sometimes – entire villages (with three daughters – I always thank God that this practice is no longer observed and I have often advocated bringing your own picnic as an alternative to the wedding reception!) Refusal to come was an insult and there should be leftovers – so running out of wine was a serious faux pas. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother asked him to step in. His reply that his hour had not yet come – was ignored – mother’s always know best! And then came the critical moment. As he acted and turned the water in wine, the host relaxed, the feast resumed, the crowd rejoiced – but a chain of events had been set in motion that would lead to a confrontation with enemies that would change the course of the world. A clock had started ticking.
Jesus had spent 30 years preparing for this moment – he had prepared for it by always keeping his eyes on God and God’s purpose for his life as well as studying the scripture and praying – so that he was ready at a Wedding in Cana to start the clock ticking. A pattern of preparation we should all follow