Love Comes Full Circle: Alchemy of God
It began with wine and love
As I listened to the pastor break down the miracle of Christ turning the water into wine, I found myself in an enlightened moment. As though a great mystery was being revealed to me and I wondered if it was showing itself to anyone else. The pastor made a case for the first miracle being an act of love of Christ for his mother who asked him to do it as a favor to the host of the wedding they were attending as guests. The pastor explained that the servants at the wedding were required to do something that seemed ridiculous in order to follow Jesus’ instructions. She pointed out that Jesus not only performed this miracle of changing the water to wine, but that it was the best wine served at the wedding. As I listened to this message it transitioned into the traditional communion that the church performs every Sunday. Just before this transition occurred, I was looking at the the clip art of the water turning into red wine and I was suddenly struck by how it looked more like blood than wine by the choice of the red hue used. So that when I saw the next photo slide announcing it was time to take the holy communion, I was brought into a greater understanding of that moment so many years ago when Christ sat down with his disciples to have dinner one last time.
Many scholars have pondered why the Cana miracle, Christ turning water into wine, was the first public miracle. Tonight, as I reflect on this pastor’s sermon, I think it just shows how omniscience God really is. What began as a miracle at a wedding as an act of love done at the request of his mother, turning water into wine, ended with an act of love done at the request of his holy Father turning his blood into everlasting water that would wash away the world’s sins and quench its thirst. And so how ingenious that he used a goblet of wine at his last dinner with the disciples to carry on this lesson of the transformation through love that began before their ministry started to explain the miracle of salvation he was about to do for the world, an act of love.
The memories and reflection of friends
I wonder about that last dinner Jesus and his disciples who were also his dearest friends, had together. As they gathered and talked around a meal, what words were not recorded by the authors of the Gospel. Did they reflect on their time together, the journeys they took and the places they explored? Did this feel weird or melancholy to the disciples who did not know what was about to happen and just saw this as another meal shared together? Did they reminisce on the first time they saw Christ show his power of God, the turning the water into wine. Is that why he brought up his cup of wine in order to continue the lesson to the disciples that he started before his ministry began? Was there more to the wine then just the communion message we repeat today in our own churches and highlight especially on Maundy Thursday? And if we follow the examples where wine is used throughout his ministry will we be shown even more of this lesson that Christ gave to his dearest friends? A lesson that began with wine at a wedding.
God's Alchemy: Water to wine to blood to Everlasting Water
As my thoughts grow deeper into these roles of water and wine while typing this blog entry, I recall past memory verses and Sunday School lessons throughout my childhood where water played a role. The retelling of the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well who Christ told about the everlasting water, the water of salvation that he would pour out to the world. Is that why he then chose to use a Samaritan in his example when explaining to the lawyer who the neighbor was that we were commanded to love. A group of people who were not well liked or trusted in those circles that the lawyers mingled with. Was this the ridiculous acts we as servants of God must do for the miracle of love to happen? Loving unconditionally certainly seems ridiculous and even nonsensical or ideological. Do we listen to the words of Mary, his mother, as they whisper in our ears, “just do as he instructs you.”
When we follow his instructions to love unconditionally will we then see the miracle of love on display for our world giving everyone the very best of things, just as the very best wine was served to the wedding guests? Yes, I believe that the love of God is more than capable of this miracle if we are willing to look ridiculous to follow his instructions.