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SUNDAY 16th JANUARY: THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY

 

READINGS

Isaiah 62: 1-5

John 2: 1-11

 

REFLECTION

 

In the wedding car on the way to the reception, Julie and Stuart chatted excitedly about their marriage service. “I was so nervous,” Julie admitted. “I was like a trembling leaf.” Stuart grinned and squeezed her hand. “Me too,” he said. “But did you see the vicar shaking?” he went on. “He couldn't have been nervous, could he? I mean, vicars do weddings all the time!”

Stuart was both right and wrong. Some vicars do conduct lots of marriage ceremonies. But that doesn't mean they don't get nervous. Over the past eight years at Beeley and Edensor, I have presided at many weddings and without exception get slightly anxious before each service because I want to make sure everything goes well for the couple. Weddings are very special days, for all concerned. For the couple, their parents, the guests.....but special, too, for the vicar! Yes, part of the job, but also a privilege and a pleasure, and yes, many like me do get nervous.

 

Weddings occur frequently in the Bible and Jesus mentioned wedding feasts in some of his parables. In those days, even more than our own, everyone had been to a wedding. Something wonderful, but also a fact of everyday life. An absolute gift for any storyteller needing a vivid metaphor. Like the Bible writers, Jesus was a master storyteller, but he not only told stories to illustrate God's love for us. He lived the story – in his life on earth. Like Old Testament prophets, he knew actions speak louder than words. So it isn't surprising that Jesus chose to reveal his glory not by anything he said, but by something he did. The wedding at Cana in Galilee gave an extra dimension to the miracle. At this everyday but wonderful event, he took something ordinary like water and changed it into something special – the very best wine. Gallons of it! The water jars were intended for Jewish purification rites. By using those, Jesus perhaps shows that here is something better than Jewish Law. Here is the Creator, the one who made the water, present among us. But whatever the containers, the water was water: a feature of everyday life. With Jesus, the everyday can become special as he can transform the water of our daily lives into the sparkling new wine of his presence.

 

By acknowledging the presence of Jesus in our everyday lives, we can listen to what he is saying to each of us individually. We are all different, thank God! We have different home situations, different jobs, different strengths and weaknesses, different gifts to use in God's service.

 

Whoever we are, whatever we are, Jesus is with us as we go about our everyday tasks. He will have a word for each of us, just for us – something he wants us as individuals to do for him. Something which, in turn, will enable to work his miracle in our lives, to turn everyday lives into life, in abundance, and to have a closer relationship with God.

 

Remember, weddings are wonderful – they happen to someone every day. So if God can speak to us in the story of a wedding, surely we can listen to our Creator in the things that happen to us day by day?

 

PRAYER

 

Almighty God,

in Christ you make all things new:

transform the poverty of our nature

by the riches of your grace,

and in the renewal of our lives

make known your heavenly glory;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

Canon Dave                                                  15th January 2022

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear Friends

 

Making a healthy start to 2022 I decided to cook a tasty low calorie meal during this past week to begin the good intentions. I can recommend this dish which is so easy to make. Why not have a go?

 

Red lentil and sweet pepper curry

 

Ingredients:

The local Choral Evensong choir, ‘1662’, will be singing Choral Evensong on Sunday 27th February, at 6pm at St Peter’s Church, Edensor.

1662 are a chamber choir of like-minded singers, who enjoy singing the words of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer in full cathedral-style. Many of the singers are members of local parish church choirs, with others coming from as far afield as Manchester and Cambridge. The choir is directed by Neil Clarke, with organist Andrew Cummings.

2 tablespoons of sunflower oil or olive oil

I onion chopped

2 garlic cloves crushed

I tablespoon curry powder

150 g red lentils

1 red pepper, 1 green pepper and 1 yellow pepper all de-seeded and diced

I aubergine diced

600 ml (1pint) vegetable stock

225 g canned chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and garlic until softened.
  2. Stir in the curry powder for a further minute.
  3. Stir in the lentils, peppers and aubergine, then pour the stock over and bring to the boil.
  4. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring from time to time until the lentils are tender.
  5. Remove lid from pan, stir in the tomatoes, season and allow to bubble for 15 minutes until the desired thickness is achieved. Toss in the coriander.
  6. Serve with basmati rice.

 

Master Chef here I come!