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Daily Devotional • February 27

Lauren Cripps
Water into Wine
A Reading from the Gospel of John 2:1-12

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. 9 When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. 

12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.

A few years ago, I attended a family wedding. The décor was elegant, the plated dinner was top-notch, the playlist hit all the right notes, and many guests stuck around late into the night to enjoy the party. Somewhere around 11 p.m., just as our stamina on the dance floor was beginning to wane, we were surprised by a delivery. Boxes of pizza — and not just any pizza, but some of Chicago’s finest deep-dish — were thrown open for us to enjoy. An unexpected gift on top of an already lovely evening! This is the closest — admittedly imperfect — comparison I can conjure when envisioning what the guests at the wedding at Cana experienced as that new, rich wine started flowing late into the festivities. 

There is plenty to say about the significance of Jesus’ first miracle of turning water into wine, especially in how it points to the heavenly feast that God’s people will someday enjoy, with Christ as the true Bridegroom. But a more cursory reading has me thinking about the experience of the guests. They showed up that day for an ordinary wedding — maybe they were happy to be there, or maybe they attended out of obligation. By this point, they had probably eaten some food, thrown back a few glasses of wine, and were familiar enough with the order of things to know that the bottom-shelf stuff was coming next. In that very moment, at an otherwise routine wedding, something extraordinary happened. 

As recipients of Jesus’ extravagant gift, they experienced for themselves a taste of the abundance that comes when the glory of heaven invades earth. And that miracle, astounding in and of itself, was merely a foretaste of greater things to come. Have I marveled today in the glory of a God who turns water into wine, and who more gloriously makes himself available to us in the bread and wine? 

Lauren Anderson-Cripps oversees communications and marketing for Nashotah House Theological Seminary and writes for a variety of publications, including The Living Church. Lauren currently lives in Dallas with her husband, Sam, and their dog, Tennessee Jed. 

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Today we pray for:

The Diocese of Qu’Appelle – The Anglican Church of Canada
Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Orlando
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