water wine HeQi
Image by He Qi

From earliest childhood we have an innate sense that more is better, and we carry that into adulthood. We shy away from scarcity and gravitate toward plenty. We avoid want and embrace having. We seek to have savings, reserves, supplies, extras, storage bins. Of course, we can go overboard on abundance. Yet, we all know that just enough isn’t enough. This Sunday’s gospel is about running out, not having enough. It is about a bride and groom potentially being embarrassed on their most important day. It becomes about abundance signifying that all is well, that love and life abound. It becomes about Jesus’ “hour.” What is Jesus’ “hour”? It is a time of the revelation of God’s immense gift of abundance. In this gospel, not one jar of water became wine, but six. Not a little bit of wine, but over a hundred gallons. Not partially filled jars, but “to the brim.” Not inferior wine, but “good wine.”

Not just one sign, but “the beginning of his signs.” More is yet to come. In the “more” is God’s glory revealed. In the “more” is God’s abundance—a sign of the fullness of Life and love God offers us.

The epiphany of Jesus’ glory is a sign of the persistence of God’s overtures of love to us, a love so immense that it is not measurable, not able to be contained, not ever exhausted. There are signs of God’s abundant love—God’s most lavish gift to us—all around us. What are the signs? Obvious miracles, yes, in Jesus’ time. But many miracles are still happening today: the gift of life at the birth of a baby, the peace of reconciliation, the warmth of faithful love, the satisfaction of success, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset. God’s glory is revealed in many signs of abundance.

At what “hour” do we taste the water that has “become wine”? When, for example, holiness shines from the wrinkled face of an aging parent; unselfishness flows from the actions of a small child; reconciliation heals a broken relationship. Whenever the ordinariness of our lives has been transformed by the power of Christ, we experience an extraordinary gift of grace. The “hour” has come for us

Abundance, ultimately, is a sign of messianic times, of God’s fullness of salvation offered to us. This is why Jesus came. In the abundance of who he is, Jesus reveals the fullness of who we might become. God’s glory is God’s Presence. Yes, God’s glory is revealed in many signs of abundance. Most fully in Jesus himself. Most fully in us, the Body of Christ, as we come to deeper belief and continue his ministry.

 

Living Liturgy 2016

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