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Sermon for the 4th Sunday of Lent  2019

March 31, 2019

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Sermon for Epiphany II

January 20, 2019

Isaiah 621-5        Psalms 36:5-10       I Corinthians 12:1-11    John 2:1-11


     The pastor, Father Joe, goes to see his parishioner, Fred, who is ninety-four.  Fred wants to marry Ethel, who is eighty-one.  Father Joe asks, “Do you love Ethel?”  There is a long pause as Fred screws up his face in concentration, thinks a little longer, and finally says, “I suppose so.”  Fr. Joe, not entirely convinced probes a little more.  “Well, is she a good Christian woman?”  Fred replies, “I don’t actually know.”  Fr. Joe is surprised and still puzzled.  So, he decides to go for the oldest reason in the book for marriage.  “Well, is Ethel rich?”  Fred replies, “Nope, she hasn’t got a penny.”  Fr. Joe, amazed, says, “So why exactly do you want to get married?”  And Fred replies, “Because she can see to drive at night.”

     Reasons are often hidden.  The reasons for a marriage are sometimes much less obvious than we realize.  And the reason for this miracle at the start of Jesus’ ministry is much less obvious than we realize.  The social occasion was very serious s and very significant.  Yet the signs it announces – the life of the world who can take the mundane and redeem it – is actually the real reason.

     A first-century wedding is a massive community affair.  A good wedding could go on for several days.  If the wine gives out early, then social humiliation will follow.  The mother of Jesus is not going to let that happen. So, Jesus performs the first “sign” – as John calls it a miracle.  The accounts of miracles in John’s Gospel are fewer than the Synoptic Gospels.  In fact, there are only seven recorded miracles in John.  This particu