Saturday, February 6, 2016

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Lent: Time of Redemption (Lent Begins)
John 2:1-11

  
Rev Shinoi Joseph

Long Island MTC, NY

3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 
 

Great lent days are the Celebration of Liberation promised through Jesus Christ. This year February 7 marks the beginning of Great Lent. This Sunday is called Pethurtho. This Syrian word means ‘to come back’ or ‘return back to God.’ The community of Jesus is called to return back to God in repentance.
 
In John’s gospel, the changing of water into wine at the wedding of Cana is the first miracle. Apostle John uses the word ‘sign’ instead of ‘miracle.’ Sign always points to the truth. In John’s Gospel sign points to the reality of Jesus as ‘Son of God.’ This sign manifested His glory to his disciples and evoke their belief. Based on the passage, let us reflect on the following points:
 
1. The experience of great joy through Christ’s presence.
It is for sure that something went wrong at this wedding as Mary, mother of Jesus says, “they have no wine.” In that culture there cannot be a greater humiliation or disgrace for the bridegroom and his family if the invited guests are not served wine and that too sufficiently. Though Jesus is an invited guest, yet He takes the responsibility upon Himself to help them. Mary knew that her son could help them in this crisis. Abundance of milk or honey or wine or oil is a sign of the age of salvation.  It also points to grace and blessings of God. (Exo. 33:3; Jer 31:12; Joel 3:18; Amos 9:13-14). In transforming of water into wine in a large quantity and in best quality reveals the abundance and quality of life to those who believe in Jesus. In the using of ritual cleaning water for the guest points to Jesus’ transforming power.
 
2.      We are called to participate in God’s work.
Presence of Jesus removes all the insufficiencies. There are many who are involved (directly or indirectly) with Jesus as He transforms water into wine. Those are the bridegroom who invited Jesus and His disciples, the mother of Jesus who conveyed the crisis and the servants at the wedding who obeyed Jesus without questioning. Jesus could have performed this miracle even without them. Involvement of these people points to the fact that we as individual and community have a definite and important role to play so that transformation is possible through Christ. We are therefore called to participate in the process of transformation.
 
As we participate in this lent season let us experience great joy in Christ and be channels of transformation.

PRAYER

O Jesus Christ, our redeemer, give to us reverence and understanding of heart that we may hold ourselves in Your presence free from all discord and impurity and also experience Your divine presence in every moment of our lives as we participate in Your redemption through the observance of Lent. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
 
“Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself.” -- St. Peter Chrysologus .