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SUNDAY JANUARY 24th THIRD SUNDAY OF EPIPHANY

 

READINGS

Genesis 14: 17-20

John 2: 1-11

 

REFLECTION

 

What is the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in public? We have all got stories from our lives, I'm sure. I was reading a story recently about a newly ordained priest being invited by the Archdeacon for dinner. As you can imagine a bit of a posh occasion. The priest, naturally was on his best behaviour. When people were invited to be seated at the table, the priest commented on the quality of the dining chair upon which he was sitting. The Archdeacon said yes, it was one of his prized possessions: a chair from the Georgian period that had been handed down through the generations of his family. So, the dinner is in full flow, all going well, and the priest making a good impression so far. However, the Archdeacon tells a funny joke and as the priest leaned back in the chair, laughing hard and...... you have guessed it..... the back of the chair splintered into pieces and the priest ended up on the floor with the remains of this precious family heirloom balanced across his legs. He wasn't invited back again....I wonder why?

Public embarrassments are awful things.

 

The reading from St. John's Gospel about a wedding at Cana in Galilee, is a story about a major social embarrassment and about how Jesus saves the day. Here the hosts had run out of wine and Jesus intervenes to help them out, which is the first of his miracles. What this intervention tells us about God is that he really cares about what happens in our lives. God is not some remote, distant Being, sitting above the clouds. Instead, God is actively involved in the world and he wants to be actively involved in your life and mine.

 

Since I became a vicar 33 years ago, I have conducted many weddings. I rarely go to the Wedding Reception afterwards unless I really know the couple very well. If I do go, it always make me smile when I walk into the dining room in my suit and dog collar and see everyone sitting down at their allotted table. I start to look around for my name on the card marking where I am to sit. You can almost see the frozen smiles on people's faces as they look up at me walking around the tables. Their faces portray a welcoming smile but you can almost hear them screaming out, “Please don't let the vicar sit next to me”. They want to have a few drinks – or more – and laugh at a few saucy jokes. What could be worse than the vicar sitting down next to them? The worst type of Wedding Nightmare!!

To some people vicars are a breed, maybe Christians in general too because they are often viewed by many people as killjoys; not the type of person that you would invite to a party.

 

It is interesting that Jesus and his disciples were invited to the wedding in our story from St. John's Gospel. There was something about him that people felt comfortable with and they weren't afraid to have him at their party where the wine was flowing freely.

 

Jesus wants to be part of our lives, but how do we view him? Do we think of Jesus as a killjoy? Does the thought of being in a relationship with Jesus take the fun out of our lives. Do we keep him in a little 'Sunday Box', where we can be all religious in church but then pack him away for the rest of the week so we can have our fun without him being involved? This may be the killjoy image of Jesus that we have created in our minds. If so, we are worshipping the wrong Jesus because the Jesus of the Bible gets invited to the party and people know that he is fun to have around.

 

The Wedding at Cana in Galilee is a fascinating story that is about so much more than just a miracle of changing water into wine. It teaches us how we can relate to Jesus in our everyday lives from Monday to Saturday.

Maybe we need to start thinking about Jesus in a fresh way so that the real Jesus – the Jesus of the Bible can be fully active in our lives, leading us into the future of joy and happiness that we all long for.

 

PRAYER

 

Holy Father, Creator of all things,

whose blessed Son turned the water into wine,

grant that he may come to us and change us,

and so transform our lives that in us

your glory may be revealed;

through the same Jesus Christ our Lord,

to whom with you and the Holy Spirit

be praise and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Every Blessing,

Canon Dave                                                     23rd January 2021

Canon Dave’s Weekly Message

Dear Friends

 

For the last few weeks it has been amazing to see the snowdrops beginning to bloom in our gardens. A sign of new life, new hope and that Spring is on the way. Although the snowdrops may all look the same unless you look closely, there are in fact 75 different varieties. This is a miracle of God's creation – a miracle given for us to enjoy.

As I drive through Chatsworth Park between the two churches at Beeley and Edensor again I witness God's creation – the variety of trees and their leaves changing colour during the different seasons, the sheep and deer grazing happily away in the fields. Let us never take these wonderful sights for granted but thank God for them everyday.