03 March 2010

 

From the Evangelists Wife’s Dressing Table.

Article for March edition of the Parish Magazine.

 Red or White Sir?

 One of my favourite passages from the Gospels is John 2. 1-11.

 Ever thought what it may be like to be changed from water to wine? Metaphorically speaking that is.

Jesus Changes Water to Wine

 1) On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2) and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3) When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

 4) “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.”

 5) His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 6) Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

 7) Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

 8) Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

   They did so, 9) and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10) and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

 11) This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

I was looking forward to talking about this very passage on Sunday 31st January this year, but unfortunately things got in the way and I was delayed and therefore could not attend the Service.

 Now let’s spend some time thinking, try and think that we are one of the containers that Jesus asked the servants to fill. Don’t know about you but I would dearly love to hold 20 to 30 gallons of faith for the Lord. Although the faith maybe just water, and some may turn their nose up at it because let’s face it water doesn’t have any taste does it. Although I for one do enjoy a nice freezing cold glass of water on a hot day. But how many of us really appreciate the value of water?

 So as a Christian we are at the water stage of our journey, we are ready to share and people will dip in and out as and when they need to, but we need to learn and gain more body to put people at their ease. But let’s remember there is always a place in some young lives because they are not allowed to drink the other. Water is what they need to help them on their way through their journey with Christ.

 So now we’re at that stage, we feel that the Lord can make us more like a drink with a flavoured body to it that can intoxicate those who come in touch with it. So now let’s think that we are that 20 to 30 gallon vessel holding wine instead of water.

 The Lord has made me that deep red, rich, full flavoured wine that can attract so many to taste it. They have a sip and try it out, and then they finish the glass and then ask for another. We can alter the taste to suit the person we are reaching. We can be a nice light Australian Shiraz or a nice full bodied Rioja. The Lord gives us the Grace to change to intoxicate all tastes throughout the world.

 We are there to allow people to draw from us and drink and be merry at finding the Lord, sure in the knowledge that the Lord will never let our 20 to 30 gallon vessel run dry. (That vessel being us).

 What we must be careful of is that we do not cork the wine, or go sour, because sometimes with age this can happen. What do we do if we feel that we are going sour or have possibly been corked? We could ask advise from another Brother or Sister and if they kindly tell us we are lacking in taste we should aim at emptying our vessel away, no point keeping it because no one wants a drink from it anymore anyway.

 Do you stay empty after you have disposed of that old sour or corked wine? No the Lord will fill you with new wine if you are willing.

 So tell me, where do you rate yourself? Water; are you fresh water from a spring? Are you tap water that has been chlorinated? Are you bottled water? And if you are bottled water and you still or fizzy?

 If you were a wine, what sort of wine would you be? White, Red, Rose? Would you have a strong flavour being matured in a cask, or would you be a nice light fruity taste? Ask me and I may even tell you where I am in the scale of things.

 So let’s pray that the Lord may make us like a good wine, where people will want to taste us and come back for more, because we never leave a bitter taste in the mouth.

 All this talk has made me thirsty, so, as it’s a weekday I will have a cuppa, rather than wine, but hey never mind, I enjoy a nice cup of tea nearly as much as a good wine. 

 May God Bless you and your family.

 Rick Hayes

© Rick Hayes, March 2010