The Introit p. 16
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
Hymn #39 Praise to the Lord the Almighty
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
Hymn #54 Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah
- Doctor's care - Pastor Shrader, Pastor K, Dr. Lito Cruz, Randy Anderson. Alicia Meyer - flu symptoms.
- Pastor Jackson, right eye surgery, Monday.
|Norma A. Boeckler
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, that of Thy grace Thou hast instituted holy matrimony, in which Thou keepest us from unchastity, and other offenses: We beseech Thee to send Thy blessing upon every husband and wife, that they may not provoke each other to anger and strife, but live peaceably together in love and godliness, receive Thy gracious help in all temptations, and rear their children in accordance with Thy will; grant unto us all to walk before Thee, in purity and holiness, to put all our trust in Thee, and lead such lives on earth, that in the world to come we may have everlasting life, through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.
Water into Wine - The Ordinary into the Extraordinary
KJV John 2:1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: 2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
The conclusion of this miracle notes that this was the first miracle performed by Jesus - and His disciples believed. The miracle is especially important for two or more reasons. One is that it involved all the disciples, so they could verify to each other that this actually happened - the details proving it a miracle and not a fraudulent display . Secondly, Mary and the disciples being there with Jesus meant He honored marriage - and early Christianity did so as well. Only later did paganism influence pastors to believe they should live without being married and be monks, as if that were a higher calling. That was already true when Western Rome fell and Augustine was the famous bishop and theologian. This one miracle anticipates the anti-marriage law that took over and also the elevating of Mary beyond reality and the truth.
People are inclined to reduce individual episodes like this into one or two sentences. The Gospel of John is especially generous with details of great importance in Christianity. Because the Holy Spirit is so stingy with words, we need to consider each verse, sometimes each phrase, to understand the complete message. This miracle proves the Lordship of Jesus over all earthly matters - and the disciples believed - but it also supports marriage as God's will, the actual place of Mary as the mother of Jesus, and an example of God transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
God created marriage through His Word - the Logos, and Jesus honored marriage by His presence with His mother and the disciples there. This one miracle explains quite a few important ideas. Official Roman Catholic teaching has Mary commanding Jesus to do her will, and also serving - priest-like, offering Jesus as the sacrifice of the eucharist. This corruption of the relationship between Jesus and Mary began after one conference (Theotokos - Ephesus, 431 A.D.) And as we can see, the corruption blossomed ever since. As Luther commented, one error can lead to an entire nation falling prey to false doctrine. Similarly, Calvinism separated the Spirit from the Word, which provided a steep path into rationalism and the Unitarian denial of the Trinity.
Luther suggested that Mary was substituting for the couple's parents, since she stepped into the wine shortage problem. The lack of wine suggested that this was a wedding feast limited by a lack of money, since wine was a staple and not just a sip for a toast to the bride and groom. The disciples were all there, so that increased the demand, but they bore witness to this miracle. Some are going to say, "Then why did they have doubts and fears, and worry about their future glory?" They are mirrors of our failings, since we know about all the miracles and the greatest one of all - defeating death and granting eternal life to Christian believers.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
There are two parts to this wine solution, on the part of Mary. One is that she took the problem to Jesus, believing He would solve the problem. The second is that she remained undaunted when He appeared to dismiss her request. That is an important parallel to the Canaanite woman, who kept asking Jesus and kept getting apparent rebukes from Him, thus showing her utter trust in Jesus. Mary is another example. She first asked then assured the stewards that Jesus would take care of matters.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. 5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
Jesus addressed His mother as "Woman," without any modifiers. He did the same at the cross, addressing her as "woman" but referring her to the beloved disciple John as a "mother to him." Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother. Like many passages in the Fourth Gospel, this one anticipates and shreds the elevation of Mary while honoring her faith in Jesus. The point of the miracle is Jesus' power through the Word, not Mary being in charge over Him.
People are inclined to think, "Why should I pray about something so trivial. I am nobody in the Kingdom of God, and this is too minor to take to God." But so was the lack of wine, and Jesus took care of the problem without being told how to do it. It is a sad spectacle that pastors and lay leaders tell God what to do - and give Him a deadline for getting it done. I saw the prayer on the Episcopalian bulletin board - "We are praying to God for a 10% increase in membership and offerings each year, for the next three years." (The pastor just got back from Fuller, where he was taught this nonsense.)
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins [GJ -10 gallons per firkin] apiece.
Firkins are named in "The Music Man," which was produced in our lifetimes.
So they had 120 gallons - or more - of storage possible.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
These details matter because there have always been con artists with their pre-set tricks. Many basic magic tricks are now taught on video, where the magic comes from special tools or misdirection of the eye. In this case, the pots were empty, but filled to the brim with water from the well, as Jesus directed. He and his disciples did not touch anything. He then ordered the stewards to take some of the liquid to the toastmaster.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
The toastmaster did not know the origin of the water turned into wine, he called for the bridegroom, to teach him some wedding etiquettes. This is subtle humor, which is often found in the Fourth Gospel. The toastmaster is angry with the broom, and neither one knows what has happened.
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good [noble, the best] wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good [the best] wine until now.
In the language of two men utterly baffled, the miracle is told in words that describe what has happened. They ran out of wine for the wedding, but instead of bringing in cheaper wine, they provided the best wine. This is the term used by Jesus in John 10 - I AM the Good Shepherd (the ultimate or best or noble; Greek is subtle, the word for good suggests being useful; this means the Shepherd above all shepherds).
Nothing is more ordinary than water, so this transformation from water to the best wine is very much worth thinking about. The Fourth Gospel involves a lot of symbolism, as the Bible does in general. Physical signs are good for reminding us of the spiritual message they teach.
What is more ordinary than marriage. People despise marriage and run away from it. And no matter what the couple's love might be, there will always be the ordinary - friction about money, raising the children, and goals in life. No matter how difficult things can be, God has blessed marriage among believers many times over. Those who believe in Christ also know about sin, contrition, and forgiveness. Partners (whether business or marital) cannot continue when there is a lack of forgiveness. And forgiveness is a great blessing from God, where all past problems are set aside and drowned in the sea of God's grace. Luther wondered about how long Adam and Eve argued about the forbidden fruit - whose fault was it?
God does more than transform marriage. He transforms the worst difficulties into the greatest gains, individualized for each person. How many people have said, "That disaster led me into the greatest part of my life." The biggest mistake we make is thinking that we have been plagued with a bad deal. Cannot God turn that ordinary into something extraordinary? This first of all the miracles Jesus performed - tells us yes.