So, here are the texts for January 14th

First of all, just wanted to say a big thank you for those who came out on Sunday morning and totally rocked my face off.  I was so pumped when I left class on Sunday – so grateful that you all were so willing to share and ask questions and just be there.  I think this class has some great potential and am so glad that people are wanting to be part of it.

I’ve been reminded several times this week of God’s voice of love – and how our ministry (because we’re all called to represent him)  is validated by that voice.  Isn’t it so great to know that God doesn’t just love us, he believes in us and trusts that we’re going to do some great things for him?!

 As for this week, here are the texts:

Isaiah 62:1-5

Psalm 36:5-10

1 Corinthians 12:1-11

John 2:1-11

Just a little FYI . . . Pastor Dana is using the lectionary for her texts, but for preaching purposes has bumped things up a week.  This actually is pretty cool, because starting next week, we’ll be discussing the same text that she used in the previous sermon.  That way, you’ll have a whole week to mull over what she preached on and hopefully bring your thoughts for discussion.   (So, pay attention to the sermon on Sunday, I might give you a pop quiz next week!)

As for this Sunday, read over the texts and think about the things that come to mind when you read them.  Does anything else you’ve been reading come to mind?  Songs?  News events?  Is there a particular passage that resonates with you this week? 

Again, as thoughts come to mind, feel free to post them here.  Get the conversation started!  I look forward to being with you again on Sunday!

Travel mug in hand,

Jen

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One thought on “So, here are the texts for January 14th

  1. Here is an excerpt from a sermon by Dr. Sandy Winter of University Presbyterian Church in Tuscaloosa, AL. Thought it had some good insights.

    Those at the wedding feast who knew their scriptures knew that an abundance of wine in old testament texts symbolized the joy of the arrival of God’s new age. ( From Amos 9:13, l4.) “The time is surely coming says the Lord when the mountains shall drip with sweet wine and the hills shall flow with it; when my people shall plant vineyards and drink their wine.”
    (From Isaiah 25: 6-10.) “On this mountain the Lord will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of well-aged wines strained clear…This is the Lord for whom we have waited. Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

    Jesus provided an abundance of wine at the wedding feast – to announce the joy of God’s new realm – to inaugurate this new realm.

    Let’s look at the detail in this story. “Now there were standing six stone jars for the Jewish rites of purification.” Stone jars in contrast to earthen jars are free from Levitical impurity. That the jars were made of stone rather than clay ensured the purity of the waters used for the Jewish practice of ceremonial washing before and after meals. Listen to the Levitical code (Lev. 11:33. Any earthen vessel is unclean. If anything falls into it, you shall break the vessel.” These vessels were made of stone and therefore clean. They were also empty. That these same clean empty jars used for the Jewish rituals of purification will soon be filled with wine signifies that something new indeed is at hand.

    Even taking into account the possibility of a large gathering at the wedding, the quantity and capacity of the stone jars is unusual. The size and numbers of the jars is exaggerated to emphasize the extravagance of the miracle that is to come. It works against the meaning of the story to try to explain away the magnitude of the transformation. This miracle challenges conventional assumptions about order and control and what is possible. The super-abundance of the gift of grace is the point. The extravagance of Christ is the heart of the miracle.

    Lectio Divina Meditation. If you were here for the Christmas morning worship service, you will remember that we used the ancient “Lectio Divina” method of reading or praying the scripture: first reading it slowly, savoring every word, next chewing on the text, meditating on questions to engage you deeply with it, then responding prayerfully to the word from God you found in the meditation, and finally silently delighting in it, just resting in God.
    This text cries out to be read and prayed in such a way.
    I would ask you to meditate on these questions:
    Where in your life and in our community is there scarcity that needs God’s abundance?
    In your life is there a scarcity of time… energy….courage, … faith,… love
    that needs the extravagance of Christ’s gift to transform it into abundance?
    Where is there emptiness that needs Christ’s fullness?
    In our community are there empty plates, empty pockets, empty minds and lives that need the extravagance of Christ’s gift to transform them into fullness?
    What is stagnant or stuck and desperately in need of newness or transformation?
    I would ask you to reflect on how lives and homes and neighborhoods shattered from the tornado could be not merely restored but extravagantly transformed into a new kind of fullness – a fullness where Tuscaloosa becomes a new community, where Baptists and Jews and Mennonites and Methodists and the Church of Christ and Calvinists collaborate and cooperate and even enjoy doing it; where churches and community agencies become good friends and good neighbors mobilized to transform not only such a disaster as this, but also the daily disasters of those living on the margins.
    How does the extravagant gift of Christ in his inagural miracle address this need for transformation? What is our part in it?
    Jesus is the giver of extravagant gifts: He came that we may have life – and have it abundantly Jn 10:10). From his fullness we all receive grace upon grace (Jn 1:16) Through him we are filled to the brim.
    We are invited to enter into the joyful celebration made possible by Jesus’ gift and through this gift catch a glimpse of the identity and character of God

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