This week’s worship bulletin has now been posted — view it HERE.
Our focus scripture for the Second Sunday in Epiphany is John 2:1-11. Between now and Easter, we will be remaining in the Gospel of John each week. Matthew, Mark & Luke are called the ‘synoptic’ gospels. That is, they share the same stories of Jesus (they ‘look the same’).
The gospel of John stands out from the other three. Among other differences, the gospel of John speaks more directly of Jesus’ divine origins than the synoptic gospels (In the beginning the Word was with God, the Word was God…); another: the gospel also speaks not of miracles which were widely acclaimed by all who saw them, but of signs — signs which point to a deep sense of God’s presence. For instance, only the servers ‘saw’ the water changed into wine in Sunday’s story. There is no wide acclaim over who Jesus is or what Jesus did.
In the synoptic gospels, Jesus begins His ministry with a healing, or with a cleansing, or, as in Mark, Jesus casts out a demon. In John, Jesus attends a party, a celebration. In the quiet action of Jesus, we learn much about the presence of God which can bring us an abundance of joy. Next Sunday we travel from Galilee (a region in which Jews and Gentiles lived together) and travel deep into Jewish territory — Jerusalem. In Jerusalem Jesus confronts the extortion of the poor, greed and power as He cleanses the temple. All through John, we see Jesus moving from Galilee to Jerusalem and back.
In John, the Realm of God is all about transformation. God wants to take our ‘ordinary’ lives and transform them into something extra-ordinary — because the Realm of God is not about rituals and doing the right things at the right times, as it is about being transformed from common water into abundant wine– filled to the brim and overflowing.