Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

The Wine is tasted and The Quality is decided.
            John 2:1 - 11.
What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.(John 2:11)
This miracle happened during the time of Lent. The time of lent is the time of realization, repentance and rely on the grace of our good Lord, Jesus Christ. It is time to evaluate and acknowledge the shortcomings of our life, realize the need of repentance and to rely on the grace of God’s transforming Spirit. By observing Lent in this manner, we attain a qualitative change in our lives. This portion explains the process of transformation with the intervention of Jesus the Christ.
The Gospel portion of John 2: 1-11 is a familiar incident to all of us. I like to call the attention of the readers with a different perspective. Here we can see the crisis of a family in the midst of a wedding feast celebration. Are we alert or inert in the need of our brothers and sisters? The crisis what the society facing today is not the lack of resources, but the lack of concern and sharing in the need of our fellow beings. Here we can see the creative response of Jesus the Christ towards the contemporary issue of the community.
In this gospel portion we can see the wedding feast in Cana. It was an ordinary wedding with one noticeable difference. Jesus, his disciples and his mother were invited for this wedding and wedding feast. The presence of Jesus and his disciples made a big difference in the crisis of this family.
1.  Mary’s Response on the Crisis.
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was the first person who noticed the shortage of wine. She felt the pain and need of this family as her own. She went to Jesus with a request of help to resolve the crisis situation. She reminded the servants to follow the instructions of Jesus.
2.  Invited Jesus and acknowledged his presence in the crisis.
Mary went to Jesus with the request of help. She realized the presence of Jesus and approached him at the time of crisis rather than depend on the worldly resources.  Do we have place for the presence of Christ in our marriages? What kind of solution we will seek today if such a crisis arises in our life? The presence of Christ does not promise the absence of troubles but it will provide peace of mind and triumph over the troubles. Where do we go at the time of crisis? Do we present the matter to Christ or depend on the resources of the world? Do we have a Christ-centered Christian life?
3. Immediate Obedience.
When Jesus asked the servants to fill up the six stone water pots with water, immediately they filled the pots up to the brim. Jesus requires an immediate obedience to use our resources and to resolve the crisis. Are we ready to obey immediately for His use?
4. Perfect Performance.
They filled the pots up to the brim without any question. Jesus is expecting a full surrender without questioning, for his use.  Are we willing submit our lives fully for the use of God, so He can transform our crisis in to blessings. Are we willing to give and do our best for Christ and His people?
5. Conversion of the water filling Jars in to wine bearing Chalices.
The servants filled the jars immediately with water without any question. The ceremonial water holding stone jars transformed in to the sacramental wine bearing Chalices.
6. Transformation of the ceremonial water in to sacramental wine.
The intervention of Christ transformed the ceremonial water in to the sacramental wine. The celebration of the wedding feast was going on without knowing the shortage of wine in the store. This is what going on, most of the time, with our Christian life. Without knowing the spiritual shortage we lead our Christian life. Are we willing to take time to examine the shortcomings of our lives as the followers of Christ?
7. The wine is tasted and the quality is decided.
“He said to them, draw from them now, and take what you draw from them to the steward in charge”. He tasted the new wine and found that with a higher quality. How is the quality of our Christian life, quality of our faith and witnessing in the community? People are watching and deciding the quality of our Christian life. Are we expressing this transformed quality of forgiveness? Our good Lord expects a qualitative Christian life from us even in the midst of buffetings (trials) or blessings.
Let this portion, help us to realize and admit the reality of shortcomings of our life, experience the presence of Christ, submit the crisis in to Him, allow him to intervene with our lives and surrender us to Him for a qualitative change of transformation. Let the transforming Spirit of Christ helps us to express the quality of Christ’s love, mercy, and forgiveness, in and through us.
-P. T. Mathew. (The Mar Thoma Church of Dallas, Farmers Branch, Texas)
Lord transform me as I seek you this lent.Amen.

The presence of Christ does not promise the absence of crisis but He converts it in to comfort.
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church