Sermon for 2nd Sunday After Epiphany – 01-16-2022

Psalm 36:5-10; Isaiah 62:1-5; 1st Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2:1-11

Our lesson from the Psalm is about God’s love for His people, as it preserves them in the midst of problems. It is more precious from any gem; no one can purchase it, as God offers His love unceasingly to those who in faith will simply accept it. Righteousness is closely related to His love in verse 10, and to justice in verse 6, where righteousness and justice are virtually synonymous. God’s people need both the favor of God’s love and the security of His righteousness. Our salvation is the result of His covenant love and makes provision for physical and spiritual needs. These verses point us forward to Jesus Christ as the Water of Life and the Light of the World. Light and Life are synonyms in the doctrine of salvation.

Our lesson from Isaiah we learn that we may give up on our dream of a righteous people. God will not be silent forever. He will act in righteousness to save His people and display their righteousness to the nations. We will no longer be known as the people from the desolate land.

Our lesson from 1st Corinthians tells us we are people who serve a Trinitarian God. We have been given spiritual gifts to discern God’s will and to serve Him obediently and righteously. There are many gifts but one Spirit. There are differing kinds of service, but the same Lord; finally, there are differing kinds of working, but the Same God works all of them in all men. God gives different gifts to His people to carry on His healing ministry. To others the gift of miracles or powerful works. Both of these gifts are described in general terms only, without detail, but may be used in varying ways. All the gifts are to testify to Jesus, be acknowledged as the work of God’s Spirit, be accepted as part of the gifts given the church, be used for the common good of the church rather than for the prestige and ego needs of an individual member/s. Any and all of these gifts regarding healing or miraculous powers must bring unity to Christ’s body. Others may be God-given skills of modern physicians, scientists or ever counselors, but all gifts are given as God determines and we must not try to limit what He chooses to do.

From our Gospel from John 2, we see a familiar story of Jesus first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. The custom of the day was to offer the wedding guests the better wine and then as people became a little inebriated, to give the lesser wine to the guests. Mary came to Jesus and told him they were out of wine, which would be a major embarrassment for the family of the bride. He rebuffed His mother, saying “My time has not yet come.” Being a mother, Mary told the servants to “Do whatever he tells you.” Jesus then told the servants to fill the jars to the brim with water, then to draw some and take it to the master of the banquet. He tasted of it and then took it to the bridegroom and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine later, but that they had served the cheaper first and now the choicest wine,” as the water had turned into fine wine.

The signs in John were symbolic and signifying what God will ultimately do for the redeemed. The signs pointed readers to faith in Christ so they may participate in eternal life. This first sign reveals the water of purification so central to Jewish practice replaced by wine, they symbol of Jesus’ blood. Jesus is the only way to purification before God. Ritual will not work in Jesus, God’s kingdom has entered the world revealing God’s glory. Amen

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