Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Lent: transformation of creation
v5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
The Church prepares to enter into the Great lent period for the next 50 days. Lent is a time of meditation, reflection and renewal. It was Catherine Doherty a Russian – Canadian Catholic Social worker who said “Lent is a time of going very deeply into ourselves. What is it that stands between us and God? Between us and our brothers and sisters? Between us and life, the life of the Spirit? Whatever it is, let us relentlessly tear it out, without a moment’s hesitation.”
The life, ministry, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the prime focus of our readings and meditations during this period of the Great lent. In the passage that we have for today the event of transforming water into wine at the wedding Cana which is the first recorded miracle in the Gospel of John, and also as John mentions the beginning of the public ministry of Christ, is very significant in the life and ministry of Christ. This indeed was the first time that people could witness the Divine nature of the person of Jesus whom they have known so far as a simple young carpenter. For the disciples too this must have been an evidence for them to believe that the person who has chosen or called them was not just any other human Rabbi, but truly the Son of God whom he claimed to be.
One key element of our faith which God requires of us is made evident in this passage and that is Obedience. The Lent is a time for us to refine ourselves of the impurities and also to renew the commitments of good values and qualities which we have received from the word of God, from our fellowship with other believers and also from worshipping God himself. Obedience is what Mary requires of the servants who were present there, “to do whatever he commands”. So how do we obey is the question. In many of our day to day affairs the common argument that we bring up is “how can we practically obey what God wants us to do”. We have our reasons, we have our excuses, we have our inhibitions, we have our fears of failure, we have our ego which tells us to order and not to obey, we have our doubts, we fear the losses, we fear the changes that can happen, we are adamant of our desires, and many other factors or reasons.
However, in this passage we see the obedience of the Servants which became part of the first miracle that Jesus does. Yes, it was God’s power of transformation of the water into the wine, but the role of the servants was to obey and they did it.
- Obedience is to be Entire – Whatever God requires of us and also every part of it. Not what we like or prefer. Its not a selective obedience or partial obedience, but complete obedience that God requires of us.
- Obedience is to be Exclusive - Whatever He says, not adding our interpretations or ideas to it and also not allowing others to add or make influence in what God has told us to do. We will fail when we try to please others but only in Christ we find the fulfilment of our life and purpose.
- Obedience is to be Specific - Whatever He says to you, do it. It is not just something like it, or something part-way, or something supposedly equivalent, but specifically what God requires of us. Let whatever He says to you, do it be our governing-motto for: your choice in your career; love; dating; marriage and the many other choices we make small or big.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
He who has My commandments and keeps them (OBEDIENCE) is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” John 14:21
O Lord Give us the courage to faithfully follow your leading,
even when we cannot see the outcome,
even when the path you call us to seems impossible to comprehend.
Help us to trust you in all things,
to let go of everything that would stand in the way
of whole-hearted obedience to you. Amen
Rev. Thomas K. Mathew
Youth Chaplain – Philadelphia region
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church