Sunday 20th January 2019
2nd Sunday after Epiphany

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

The story of the wedding feast at Cana places Jesus at the very heart of the working lives of a group of stewards and waiters. In bringing about the first miracle of the Gospels, Jesus invites them to do their regular job; to take the tools of their trade and use them at his command. We might easily forget how those wine-waiters must have felt, serving up what they believed to be washing water, yet to discover that it would be miraculously transformed into the finest vintage. Here is another reminder that we can find God at work in the midst of our everyday working lives. A congregation might also consider when and how they are conscious of engaging in their daily tasks and labours, as an act of obedience to the call of Christ.

The meaning of this event stretches well beyond the provision of a few drinks at a Jewish wedding, and the accompanying readings draw out its significance. This is a sign that God's renewing and restoration has begun; the waste water turned into finest wine symbolised a disgraced nation regaining her dignity and identity as a people of God. So we might ask how can God's greater purposes and message be revealed and embodied in our own working lives.

The wedding feast story also serves as a reminder of those whose daily employment is in similar roles today. This might include wedding and other event planners, waiters, stewards and all of those engaged in the hospitality industry. For many this requires working unsociable hours and can often limit the opportunity to engage in Sunday worship. This story provides a natural context in which to remember such people, to affirm, give thanks and seek God's blessing upon them.