A Typical Sunday Sermon

January 20, 2019

John 2:1-10

          Paul speaks a truth as ancient as human religion. A community exists as a spiritual revelation by marriage to their god. And to be true to that god and people, one must act by the spirit of that god. Here are the spiritual potencies of Jesus, manifest through those He has married in Spirit. In these ways he manifests himself by the Spirit, and prepares those, thus baptized into bodily union with him, to live the fullness of his life in God. Through them to one another, he gives his wisdom, knowing the path to union with God. His knowledge, knowing the obstacles and the correctives to the path. His faith, the full commitment of the heart that this path is the true way of life. His healing, as an immediate revelation of the creative power of resurrection to restore bodies and minds to the image of God. And then, not what we call miracles, as astonishing oddities of the “natural,” but “mighty works.” The mighty work by which Jesus brought us, and keeps us here, in his Body. The mighty work of Moses, Isaiah, Martin Luther King, mighty works that often rise, and are denied and muffled, and pass into the rubble of history. And the every day mighty work of prayer, urged by the Spirit that we would not stumble and fall as aliens in an alien land. Yes, and then prophecy, telling our condition on the path to the Creator, and the signs of a stumbling or straight walk. And the Christian prophet announces, there is the blood of Jesus on the stumbling, and a glory of blessing on the straight. Discerning of spirits, that is, intuitive insight into mental and emotional identity, in each unique person. For all beings, to Jesus, are a form and expression of the Spirit, and each person is of a unique aspect of the wholeness of Spirit. And each people and person speaks a native language, and to the peoples of all languages, as we assume of ours, their speech names the world. For the mind of Jesus, all languages are of the Spirit who makes all meaningful to interfuse mind and world. The mind of the Resurrection, that guides us into union with God, speaks all languages, wherever or however human. And thus some are given to know, spontaneously speak, and understand native languages not their own. All these are gifts of divine marriage with Jesus by the Spirit of the Resurrection. Now, what was that all about? Well, we might say the wine of life. The primal intoxication, marriage of the Spirit, that gives life and breath, meaning, and communion of birth, care, service, liberation and death, in the image of Jesus.

          We may wonder, in the story of the wine at Cana, where is the Bride, where the Groom? Where the rabbi, the notables of that town lush with water, and burgeoning magnolia and fig? Where is the opulent father of the groom, the mothers-in-law seated apart? And the father of the bride, where is he, and has he arranged an advantaged marriage with a family corpulent enough to need six stone jars, 150 gallons of water, to wash feet and hands of guests? The social elite exalting the politics of marriage, and such swilling, the wine runs out, vast cellar empty. And so, funny thing, its all about the wine, and the greed of wine, at this stage set marriage, that opens the way to speak of the unquaffable fullness and quality, of the blood of Jesus.  

          Tuesday, traditional wedding day. Mary, mother of Jesus, is there, inside, a guest. Is she a charity widow? Is she a known holy woman? She is the mother of this man, “Yeshua,” a name of promise given to him, a liberator for the new age of the Messiah, in some way. And a rich man in Cana must be strong for Israel, even that he may contract well with Romans. Mary tells Jesus the wine has run out. Jesus replies, “What is this between us? My hour is not yet come.” Mary means fruit of the vine. Jesus means his blood. When  some Greeks asked to see Jesus, he said, “The hour is come, that the son of man should be glorified. Except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit…Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name.” The hour of Jesus, his death, the shedding of his blood, and then, by the power of the Spirit, the blood of the resurrection body of Jesus, unbound in abundance, the best gift God has to give. The blood mother born, and the blood Spirit born, and from one to the other, the mystery of a new creation.  

         Now Mary gives a command, “Do what my son tells you to do.”  And who is she to the household that the servants would do as she said? Say there is a Godly authority here. That is what is between mother and son, that the jars be filled, and a sign given of his resurrection blood. And what does she know? Does she know that when his side is pierced with a sword hers also will be pierced? Does she know that the disciple John standing near, will write the story of Cana, that John, at the foot of the Cross, in a horror of grief and wonder, will take her into his household as mother? Does Mary know that Jesus will be the bridegroom for those espoused to him, in the marital communion of his Spirit, through his blood? The lowest servants, the humblest Jews, manage the jugs and the washing. Mary instructs cooperation with a mighty work coming, the mighty work that is the Church. And, all right, a Jewish mother of solid, wise, and strong deportment, the foot washers obey.

         Jesus says, “Fill the pots with water.” Go to the well and fill them, up to the brim. You wiggle the pot and the water sloshes out, full as can be. Good, now. When? Right now, just fill them and dip in, Jesus says, and carry a dipper to the governor of the feast. Very important – Jesus said nothing like, “Oh ye waters of creation, by way of the grape, inspirit the blood of the children of God, with divine intoxication, for joy and fellowship.” Nope, none of that recorded. Fill with water, and draw out wine, and what shall we say?

Well, that’s the way Jesus sees it. It is what he sees and knows it to be. What is creation? Change the name God speaks, and change the creature. Change our vibratory nucleus, materially shaping our DNA, and the creature becomes another, like four percent from me to chimpanzee. Hard to comprehend this – Jesus is the Word, the master of the vibratory, Spirit rhythm of all beings. And that’s how it is done – just think another algorithm of Spirit vibration – think “water,” and then think “wine.” A way to talk, you see, about who Jesus is, and the power of divine, creative thought, the words of creation, to manifest from one to another.

         Good, the wedding guests drank all of rich Isaac Ben Abraham’s wine. They are feeling good, and Jesus adds 150 gallons to the celebration, for gross excess, or wild intoxication. “Draw out now, and bear to the governor of the feast.” And the master of ceremonies takes a sup, some better wine has been found that apparently the bridegroom has sniveled away, selfishly. The best wine, and why, because which drunken tongue can appreciate it? Pearls before swine, here, and what will people think about you when they get into this stuff? Never the good wine last. No. Jesus way is always good wine last, so good, so much, so intoxicating, the life of resurrection.

         Open the frame a little. See the supping of the first wine as the life of the Temple, sheep and oxen for their blood of atonement, and meat for priests. And doves for sacrifice to redeem first born sons. Money changers for various coins of the Empire to be converted to shekels for purchase of blood beasts. The old wine, the life that celebrates, purifies, and guides the marriage of the God of Israel with the people, the marriage feast of the Temple. And Jesus rips it up, flailing out the animals, dumping the money tables, a mania of zeal to purify his Father’s house. For a new marriage is coming. And so Jesus says, “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Destroy what? The Naos, the Holy of Holies, the dark and empty cube of silence at the heart of the Temple where once a year, the High Priest cries out the name of the God of Israel. Jesus says, “Destroy the Holy of Holies, and in three days I will raise it up.” His resurrection body, the Holy of Holies. His Body, the Church, the Holy of Holies. That his joy may be full, that our joy may be full. That his resurrection blood would be the new wine of life, the wine of a sacramental, marital feast. Yes, the Eucharist is a marital feast celebrated with Jesus by the creative, uniting power of the Spirit. Jesus makes the sacrament, achieving a mighty work through his liberating love.

Amen.