2018-19 RCL-C Second Sunday After Epiphany
Additional Resources for Proclamation & Preaching
Epiphany 02: January 20, 2019 • Gospel Text: John 2:1-11
Love You A Wedding
Proclamation for Today
by Rev. Dr. Clint Schnekloth
Let’s begin with an assumption that may be a stretch for some clergy: You LOVE weddings. It’s important we begin here, because otherwise this opening passage in John, Christ’s first miracle, makes little sense. Of course, there are many reasons some are present at this wedding other than their assumed love of weddings. Jesus is there because he is invited. So are the disciples. The chief steward and all the other stewards are there because it is their job. Mary is there because she is Mary (more on this in a bit). The bride and groom are there because they are getting married. Family and friends are there because it is culturally normative to attend. All the reasons, it doesn’t really matter. It’s a wedding! his is kind of glue that holds communities and families together.
There are hints, many hints, that Jesus is here not simply because he was invited, but because he loves it. Like, LOVES it. Notice, for example, that he’s doing the whole ‘hang out with the staff” thing. Jesus has not made himself the center of things, and is not even hanging around anywhere near the chief steward or the bride and groom. At a wedding, that’s not the place to be, anyway. At least, not if you’re in love with it. The couple are making the rounds, playing their formal role. If you want to talk, want to drink, want to love and let the couple shine, you remain to the side, ready and open.
Now we come to Mary. It’s hard to know how to read this moment between Mary and her son. It might be eschatological (like, a debate about the right ‘hour’ for Jesus to begin his public ministry). It might be relational (mom, come on, really?). It might be simply of the moment (we’ve got this good debate about the Romans going, do I need to fix the wine thing right this very minute?). It’s hard to say. But in the end the moment illustrates the mother/son intimacy. She trusts him to make things right, and he trusts her judgment that now is the right time.
In a fascinating sense, this puts Mary on a par almost with the God of chapter one of John. In the same way that the Word is “of God” in chapter one, so too Jesus is "of Mary” in chapter two. You get a bit of the Mary/Jesus one-being-ness going, and it’s beautiful.
It’s also an absolute pleasure, because the result is barrels of the best wine served to a wedding party already tipsy from the early drink of the night. This is going to be a full night, all the fullness, which is one definition of love.
The following links and resources are not produced or maintained by RCL Worship Resources or Clergy Stuff. However, at the time of this posting, the links were active and considered to be good source material for proclamation for the text for this week. Please scroll down or click on the quick jump menu you find below. Click here for more free RCL worship resources & planning materials.
Historical Exegetical Resources
· The Marriage of Cana (John 2:11): sermon by George Whitefield.
· "The Feast of the Lord," John 2:9,10, Charles H. Spurgeon, 1859.
· "Satan's Banquet," John 2:9,10, Charles H. Spurgeon, 1859.
From Augustine's Tractates on John:
"A Vision for America: John 2:1-11," Rev. Dr. Alvin O'Neal Jackson, ON Scripture, 2013.
"On Wine and Weddings," the Rev. Dr. Janet H. Hunt, Dancing with the Word, 2013.
"I Wish Jesus Was at My Wedding," Roy M. Terry IV, The Hardest Question, 2013.
· "Vintage Extravagance," Peter Woods, I Am Listening, 2013.
· "From Cana To Kingdom Come," Rick Fry, 2013.
· Party On, Rick Morley, 2013.
· "How Did He Do It?" Neil Chappell, 2013.
A Good Read
Book with connections to today’s text.
Real Good Church: How Our Church Came Back from the Dead, and Yours Can, Too
Real Good Church offers a look at everything First Church Somerville UCC, a progressive Christian church in the shadow of Harvard, MIT and Tufts Universities, did to reverse their death spiral and become the healthy, stable, spirited and robust community it is today. The triumphant renewal is highly visible in the large percentage of children and young adults in the church, a sixfold increase in pledged giving in the last decade, and most importantly in the spirit of joy that pervades the community.
Additional Hymns & Praise Music
Free Current RCL Daily Devotional
More Reading For You
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Dramatic Reading of the Text
Readers: Narrator, Mary, Jesus, Steward
Narrator: On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him,
Mary: “They have no wine.” Narrator: And Jesus said to her,
Jesus: “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”
Narrator: His mother said to the servants, Mary: “Do whatever he tells you.”
Narrator: Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them,
Jesus: “Fill the jars with water.”
Narrator: And they filled them up to the brim. He said to
Jesus: “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.”
Narrator: So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him,
Steward: “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”
Narrator: Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.