Weekly News

Nicolas Poussin (French, 1594 – 1665 ), The Baptism of Christ, 1641/1642, oil on canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection

 Sunday, 16 January, 2022 (Epiphany 2)

 

  • “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.”

    1 Corinthians 12:4-6

  • Video of the Service

If you have difficulty with this link, Go to Face Book and search for St Margaret’s, Tylers Green and Login there.

AUDIO SERVICE will be available from 12 noon

 

Collect for Epiphany 2

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 forever.  Amen

 

 

Sunday, 16 January, 2022 (Epiphany 2)

8am        Prayer Book Communion at Holy Trinity with Revd. Graham

9.30am  Holy Communion at St. Margaret’s with Revd. Graham and David Carter

11am   Holy Communion at Holy Trinity with Revd. Mike and Annette Bruce

Readings:  

Old Testament:                  Isaiah 62:1-5 (a new name)

New Testament:                1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (spiritual gifts)

Gospel:                                John 2:1-11 (water into wine)

 


The best way to access the Livestream and audio is through our website where the services are listed in red above (and don’t forget to give David time to get home and put the audio service on his computer).  This week’s service will be streamed live on the St Margaret’s Tylers Green Facebook page.  Should for any reason the above link doesn’t work  then access it from : https://www.facebook.com/St-Margarets-Tylers-Green-154320624626069 


 

Sunday, 23 January, 2022 (Epiphany 3)

8am      Holy Communion at Holy Trinity with Revd. Mike

9.30am  Morning Worship at St. Margaret’s with Revd. Mike and Mary Lee

11am       Morning Worship at Holy Trinity with David Carter and Mary Lee

5pm        Confirmation Preparation in The Sanctuary

Readings:

Nehemiah8:1-10 (the book of the law)

1 Corinthians 12:12-31 (one body, many parts)

Luke 4:14-21 (Jesus takes the scroll)

 


Other

FORTHCOMING MEETING

P&TGRS – Gomm Valley – Taylor Wimpey Consultation – Have Your Say – There will be 2 virtual meeting sessions on Zoom on Friday, 21 January (mandatory booking via https://consultwithyou.co.uk/taylorwimpey/gommvalleyzoom)

Or in person – a public exhibition will be held at Micklefield Community Centre from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, 22 January.  Masks are required.  Booking required also for in-person via https://consultwithyou.co.uk/taylorwimpey/gommvalleybookings

Queries gomm-valley@devcomms.co.uk or 0800 080 3169

The situation regarding Covid restrictions continues to change.  Please check the website for latest details of services and times.  We will continue to run our Sunday services for as long as we are permitted.  This does not mean that you have to come!   If you are in any way concerned for your safety then take that as the cue to stay at home.  We will continue to livestream services and upload the audio as we have been doing.

Revd. Mike … A number of folk have asked about the process for replacing Revd. Mike after he retires.  Firstly, our two parishes are well staffed, well attended & in good state spiritually and financially. 

There is therefore no suggestion of reordering the Parishes or of Mike not being replaced.  Secondly, the process of replacement of a vicar is a well-oiled & practised machine (there are currently 4 vacancies just in the Amersham Deanery).  After Mike’s departure, our Parish Development Adviser will visit both PCCs & set in process the drawing up of a Parish Profile & Specification for what sort of Vicar should replace him.  This process will start before the summer & if all goes well adverts would be put in the Church Newspapers around Christmas/early January for interviews in March/April with a view to the new incumbent arriving in the summer of 2023.  An interregnum of a year is normal.  Obviously, this timetable assumes all goes well & the selection committee can agree on a replacement at the first set of interviews.  The Archdeacon, PDA and Deanery are around to help & support in addition to our experienced wardens, clergy, LLMs & administrator.

Confirmation:   There will be a good group getting confirmed by the Bishop of Buckingham on Sunday 27 February.  Preparation for youngsters and adults will take place from 5pm on Sundays -16 and 23 January and 6 and 13 February in The Sanctuary.  If you might be interested, please let Revd. Mike know.

One Can… If anyone wants to contribute our table is out all weathers at 11 Kings Ride.

Rotas… It would be a huge help if one or two extra people could join the rotas (Sunday coffee, Tuesday coffee and church cleaning).  The more people who take part, the longer gaps between.  We really could do with the help.

St. Andrew’s Bookshop is holding a January Sale (with some books as low as £1.99).  The link to the Sale is  St  Andrews New Year Sale.  In addition, they are offering everyone in our Churches a 20% off in-store voucher to use in the Great Missenden shop prior to 31 January.

Monthly lunches:  The next lunch will take place at the Red Lion next Sunday 23 January.  As usual please let Gail know if you are coming and what you would like to eat.  The menus are in both churches.

PLEASE PRAY FOR…

Eve Nelson

Gill and David Winder

Michael and Alison Bayley … are moving after 50 years in Winchmore Hill and 42 years as Steele Keeper and Tower Captain.   This week will be their last Sunday with us before heading for Aston Clinton.   We are hugely grateful to them for so many years of faithful service to us all.  We pray for all God’s blessings upon them in their new church and community.

Please pray for the family and friends of Geoff Manners whose funeral Revd Mike will be taking at the Chilterns Crematorium on Friday 4 February

Family & friends of Paul Burrough, whose funeral takes place at Holy Trinity on Friday, 28 January at 3pm.

 

BIBLE READINGS FOR THE WEEK           

Monday           Genesis 6:11 – 7:10                 Matthew 24:1-14

Tuesday           Genesis 7:11-24                      Matthew 24:15-28

Wednesday     Genesis 8:1-14                        Matthew 24:29-51

Thursday        Genesis 8:15 – 9:7                   Matthew 25:1-13

Friday              Genesis 9:8-19                        Matthew 25:14-30

Saturday          Genesis 11:1-9                         Matthew 25:31-46

 


 

We have a daily Morning Prayer service sheet for those in isolation who might like a time of structured prayer. Click to link

For additional prayers for a wide variety of situations Prayers for use at home may be what you are looking for. Click to link


Fellowship…

If you sense yourself becoming isolated or are feeling particularly lonely, do make sure you do not suffer alone but contact friends or family.  They may not be able to visit, but you will feel better for having spoken.  Equally, if you know of others who may be in this position, please do make contact to see if you can help.  Ask people how they are and wait for an answer.


Reflection…  Revd. Graham (9 January 2022)

Epiphany 1

Isaiah 43: 1-7, Acts 8: 14-17, Luke 3: 15-17, 21-22
So, here we are, only the second week of Epiphany and Christmas already seems like an age away.  Epiphany – comes from a Greek word, and is generally taken to mean “appearing” or “revealing.”  During this brief season between Christmas and Lent, we leave shepherds, mangers and swaddling clothes behind us, and we now turn to stories of dazzling revelation.  For Epiphany itself it was Wise Men and stars.  This week we have doves and voices.  If you come next week as well you’ll get water and wine.  In the Celtic tradition of Christianity, Epiphany stories are stories of what are often called “thin places”.  These are places where the boundary between the mundane and the eternal becomes almost permeable. God pulls back the curtain, and we catch glimpses of his love, his majesty, and his power.  Epiphany calls us to look beneath and beyond the ordinary surfaces of our world, and discover the extraordinary.  Epiphany calls us to look deeply at Jesus, and see God.  But, there’s a problem here, isn’t there?  How many of us can say that they’ve discovered a portentous star rising in the East.  How many of us can say that they’ve seen the Spirit descend like a dove, or heard a divine voice in the clouds.  How many of us have watched water become wine, or seen Jesus’s clothes blaze white on a mountaintop.  I suppose that many of us have professed belief in a self-revealing God for most of our lives, but how many of us have experienced him in any of the ways the Epiphany stories describe.  Are we just a people who walk in darkness?  Our experience might be unique, but I doubt it.
I don’t know many 21st century Christians who bask in signs and wonders, who complain that God talks too much, or that he butts into their lives far too often.  But I know plenty of believers who experience God as hidden and silent.
These are faithful people who long for epiphany — not just for a season, but for lifetimes.  So where does that leave us?  Imagine that you are standing at the edge of the river which is in this week’s Gospel reading – Luke’s account of Jesus’s baptism – how many of us would be afraid to leap in?  How can we bridge the gap between an ancient voice and a modern silence?
Heaven opened.  A dove descended.  God spoke.  Really?
We want to believe this.  We do.  But to accept the supernatural in Scripture is to plunge into a sea of hard questions.  If God spoke audibly in the past, why doesn’t he do so now?  If he does, why haven’t we heard him?  Is God angry with us?  Has he retreated?  Changed?  Left?  Or, are the ancient stories of Epiphany simply figurative?  Was the dove, in fact, just a dove, and the voice from heaven no more than a nicely timed windstorm?  When we speak of epiphanies, are we really just wallowing in metaphor?  When did you last hear someone say… I had a “spiritual experience.”  I felt “God.”  He “spoke” to me.  The trouble is that it feels like it has almost become embarrassing to believe in miracles.  The early church had this same problem with embarrassment as well. For them the story of Jesus’ baptism was an acute embarrassment, but for reasons very different from our modern ones.  What scandalised the Gospel writers was not the miraculous, but the ordinary.  Doves and voices?… that was all well and good — but the Messiah placing himself under the teaching of a rabble-rouser like John?  God’s incarnate Son receiving a baptism of repentance? Perfect, untouchable Jesus?
What was he doing in that murky, dirty water, alongside all the great unwashed?  And why did God the Father choose that sordid moment to part the clouds and call his Son beloved?
I suppose every age has its signature difficulties with faith.  When we’re not busy flattening miracle into mirage, we’re busy instead turning sacrament into scandal. After all, what’s most incredulous about this story of Jesus’ baptism?  That the Holy Spirit became a bird?  That Jesus threw his reputation aside to get dunked alongside sinners?  Or that God looked down at the very start of his Son’s ministry and called him Beloved, well before Jesus had accomplished anything you could say was worth praising?
Let me ask the question differently… What do we find most impossible to believe for our own lives?  That God appears by means so familiar that we often miss him?  That our own baptisms bind us to all of humanity — not in theory, but actually in the flesh — such that we are all brother and sister, responsible for each other in ways we all too often fail to honour?  Or that we are God’s Beloved — not because we’ve done anything to earn it, but because our Father has spoken?
Here’s our real problem with Epiphany:  we always, always have a choice — and most of the time, we don’t want it.  We expect God’s revelations to bowl us over.  We expect the thin places to dominate our landscape, such that we’re left choice-less, powerless, sinless. Freed of all doubts, and pulsing with faith.  But no… God allows us to choose.  No matter how many times God shows up, we’re free to ignore him.  No matter how often he calls us beloved, we can choose self-loathing instead.  No matter how many times we think about our baptism, we’re capable of
dredging out of the water the very sludge we first threw in.  No matter how often we reaffirm our vow to seek and serve Christ, we’re at liberty to reject him and walk away.  What reason is there for hope, then?  What shall we hang onto in this uncertain season of light and shadow?  I know this isn’t a particularly easy time… the anti-climax after Christmas, the lull before Lent.
But it could just be that it’s us and not God who is the problem.  Just because we can’t see God, just because we can’t hear him, doesn’t mean he isn’t there.  Maybe we’ve stopped looking,
maybe we’ve stopped listening, maybe even we’re praying so hard God can’t get a word in edgeways.  I believe that Jesus himself is our thin place.  He’s the one who opens the barrier, and shows us the God we long for.  He’s the one who stands in line with us at the water’s edge, willing to immerse himself in shame, scandal, repentance, and pain — all so that we might hear
the only voice that can tell us who we are and whose we are.
Take time to listen to that voice that says…
We are God’s own.
We are God’s children.
We are God’s pleasure.
Even in the deepest water, we are the Beloved.
As we heard in our Old Testament reading from Isaiah, we are created by God
for his glory, and that’s why he chooses to redeem us.
Not because we’re worthy but because, inexplicably, he loves us so much.  A truth worth holding on to for any time of the year.
Amen.

Reflection…  Revd. Graham (Epiphany 2)

Holy Trinity – Holy Communion (8.00am)
Isaiah 62:1-5, 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, John 2:1-11
The story of the wedding at Cana is an intriguing one. The dynamic between Jesus and his mother is also fascinating, as is the nature of the miracle itself.  It is completely absent from the accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke with John as the only Gospel writer to mention this episode at all.  There is something else that seems to be missing from the Gospel accounts
and that is any real mention of Jesus’ childhood. In this case it is only Luke who has anything to say and that is the story of Jesus as a 12 year old boy in the temple at Jerusalem.
Could that be because not very much happened?  Well, the interaction between Jesus and his mother in our Gospel passage today does perhaps suggest that Jesus’ childhood was not completely ordinary.  Why did Mary expect Jesus to be able to do anything about the empty wine jars?
What did she know about him?  John’s Gospel doesn’t tell us.  What it does show is a gradual building of Jesus’ ministry.  The previous chapter describes the calling of the first disciples and shows Jesus as an attractive, teasing, compelling figure. People are clearly drawn to him, and when they are with him, they know they are at the heart of something incredible.  And then comes this lovely, happy wedding story.  Jesus is there with his friends, who are already, it seems, a recognised group all invited to this wedding together.  Mary, the bossy, affectionate mother takes no notice of Jesus’ attempts to avoid any kind of sign or miracle. “My hour has not yet come”, he tells her.  But Mary clearly feels that it is her place to decide when his hour has come, not his. She almost treats him a bit like a sulky boy, who just needs humouring and cajoling into performing.  And perform he does.  Why does he do it?  Only Mary, the servants and the disciples know what has really happened.  Does it set up all kinds of false impressions in the minds of his new band of followers?  Does Mary expect to continue to control his ministry?
Do the disciples congratulate themselves on throwing in their lot with someone who is going to give them such a good time?
Well, if they did, it all came quickly crashing down because, shortly after this episode, we read about Jesus charging around the temple upsetting the tables and throwing out the money changers.  Any thought that this might be a bit of a joy ride for the disciples would have been dispelled instantly.
So what, two thousand years later, do we make of all this?  This miracle of turning water into wine is noted as Jesus’ first miracle.  But this is not just one miracle among many; it is the premier miracle – it is the key to interpreting everything that followed.  Coming to a community where a special celebration has literally run dry and is powerless to renew itself, Jesus is revealed as the one who both fills up and transforms what is empty.  There is a generous abundance, an abundance to the point of excess.  There is a quality beyond anything else that has been experienced.  Just imagine the bewilderment of the steward in the story and the utter confusion of the groom on being congratulated for suddenly producing such exceptional wine.
We, however, don’t need to be in any way bewildered or confused.  Here we see just what kind of Messiah Jesus is.  Here we have a picture of the new life he came to bring to people who are contaminated by sin (that’s to say, you and me).  A life that is as intoxicating as new wine and as different from the old life as wine is different from water.  Amen

Reflection… Annette Bruce

Sermon on John 2 v 1 -11 Sunday 16th January 2022

Good morning, I wonder how many wedding stories you have heard and from those, how many were about the wedding ceremony itself and how many were about the celebrations that went on before and after. In the gospel reading this morning we only hear about the celebrations. 

Weddings at that time were week-long festivals, banquets would be prepared for many guests and the week would be spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Often the whole town was invited and everybody would come – it was considered an insult to refuse an invitation to a wedding. To accommodate many people, careful planning was needed, as to run out of wine was more than embarrassing it broke the strong unwritten laws of hospitality.

This Wedding was taking place on the last day of Jesus’ first week of His earthly ministry. Jesus and His disciples had been invited to this wedding and they went. It may be hard for some of you to believe this; but Jesus had a social life. After this wedding was a party and He was there and stayed for the celebration. If it is ok for Jesus to spend time with His friends and family; it is ok for us to do the same when we can.

Jesus’s initial response to Mary was that she did not understand God’s timing. I can imagine that she had often thought about the time when Jesus would begin to fulfil the prophecy that was given to her when she was pregnant with Jesus. She knew who Jesus was and that He could take care of this situation.

Her belief in Jesus tells us everything we need to know “Do whatever he tells you.” She knew that Jesus could and would solve the problem although she had no idea how. The servants did exactly what Jesus told them to do. They filled the 6 stone jars with water to the brim. Then they drew some out and took it to the master of the banquet. This may not sound strange to us; but these 6 jars were used for people to clean their hands and arms. This water was dirty and not for drinking; yet the servants not only filled them up completely; but they even took some of it to the master to drink. Taking dirty water to the master to drink could create some real issues for these servants. The point that we need to see here is that we need to do things exactly like Jesus tells us to do them; even if it makes no sense to us at the time. Jesus could have changed the water to wine without doing these other things, but He was using these servants to be a part of the miracle that He was performing. Jesus does miraculous things through us when we are obedient to Him. Those servants were the only ones to actually witness the miracle here. They would probably not have had a taste of it but they are the ones who would have gone home with a story that night.

The disciples that were with Him had just started following Him and they already believed in who He was. Over the next 3 years, their faith became stronger and stronger in Jesus. They began to realize that not only was nothing impossible for Jesus; but nothing was impossible for them through the power of Jesus.

So why did Jesus do this task? A friend faced a social faux pas possibly social embarrassment but did it call for a miracle? In the big picture of things wasn’t this a small trivial matter? Yes but that is just the point that’s the way Jesus is. If it matters to us then it matters to him. Our Christianity should not be bland and watered down it should be vibrant and full bodied. It should energise our lives and make our lives more meaningful and more joyful and yes more fun. Our lives should be enhanced by our faith so we live with boldness, courage and joy.

Jesus was on a mission to save the world yet he took time to attend a wedding. We may be tempted to think that we should not take time out from our important work for social occasions but maybe these social occasions are part of our mission. Jesus valued these wedding festivities because they involved people and Jesus came to be with people. Jesus shows compassion when people are in need. Those who believe in Jesus but run into situations they cannot understand must continue to trust that He will work in the best way.

I close with a story of a lady who knew to put all her trust in God no matter what.

Louise Redden, a poorly dressed lady with a look of defeat on her face, walked into a grocery store. She approached the owner of the store in a most humble manner and asked if he would let her charge a few groceries. She softly explained that her husband was very ill and unable to work, they had seven children and they needed food. John Longhouse, the grocer, scoffed at her and requested that she leave his store.

She said: “Please, sir! I will bring you the money just as soon as I can.”  John told her he could not give her credit, as she did not have a charge account at his store.

Standing beside the counter was a customer who overheard the conversation between the two. The customer walked forward and told the grocer that he would stand good for whatever she needed for her family.

The grocer said in a very reluctant voice, “Do you have a grocery list?” Louise replied, “Yes sir”

“O.K.” he said, “put your grocery list on the scales and whatever your grocery list weighs, I will give you that amount in groceries.”

Louise, hesitated a moment with a bowed head, then she reached into her purse and took out a piece of paper and scribbled something on it. She then laid the piece of paper on the scale carefully with her head still bowed.

The eyes of the grocer and the customer showed amazement when the scales went down and stayed down.

The grocer, staring at the scales, turned slowly to the customer and said begrudgingly, “I can’t believe it.”

The customer smiled, and the grocer started putting the groceries on the other side of the scales. The scale did not balance so he continued to put more and more groceries on them until the scales would hold no more. The grocer stood there in utter disgust.

Finally, he grabbed the piece of paper from the scales and looked at it with greater amazement. It was not a grocery list, it was a prayer which said: “Dear Lord, you know my needs and I am leaving this in your hands.”

The grocer gave her the groceries that he had gathered and stood in stunned silence. Louise thanked him and left the store. The customer handed a fifty-dollar bill to the grocer and said, “It was worth every penny of it.”

It was only later that the grocer was to realise that his scales were broken!    

 Amen

Reflection…   David Carter (Epiphany 2)

Humouring the Wine

Most weddings taken in the Church of England have a reference to the Wedding at Cana.  We don’t know much about the wedding. We don’t know the names of the bride and groom.  It was their big day . . . or rather big week, as Jewish custom at that time called for a feast that lasted six days.  So, Jesus goes to this wedding feast in Cana of Galilee. The Gospel says that he was there with his mother.  It also indicates that Jesus’ disciples were there.  It also indicates that Jesus had not yet begun his active ministry.   So, we can conclude that while Jesus had begun calling his disciples, he was still living near his mother.

Now, essence of this story is made apparent in the third sentence:

“When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no wine’” (2:3).

The bride and groom ran out of wine for their guests! —nothing worse could possibly happen!  It was expected that the food and the wine would flow continuously during this week-long party.  Imagine being the young couple who would be remembered as the ones at who’s wedding the wine ran out!

So, now – somehow – Mary gets to know.  Perhaps she noticed the anxious steward or perhaps she noticed some guests who were getting a bit upset.  She gets up from her seat and casually walks over to where Jesus is sitting with his disciples.  And she says to him,

“They have no wine”—meaning, “Son, this is serious. Do something.”

Let’s pause here for a moment, because there might be a message hidden in this Gospel lesson that we are likely to miss.  It’s a message for us to be able smile – to be able to find humour in the Bible.  Sometimes—you know—it’s okay to laugh—or at least smile—just a little bit.  Perhaps this Gospel lesson is one of those times.

We are not trying to make light of this Gospel message, but we need to view it through the eyes of Jesus’ humanity — particularly with regard to Jesus’ relationship with his mother – because this moment is a priceless moment.  It is a classic moment – the kind that often occurs between a mother and her adult son.

Picture this situation.  Here’s Jesus, sitting with his new disciples.  They’re eating good food, drinking some wine, laughing, getting to know each other better — having a really good time.   Mary’s been off with her friends eating and laughing and having a nice time, too — when, somehow she realizes that the party has just run out of wine.

So, what does she do?  She gets up, tells the wine steward to follow her, she walks herself over to her son — she taps him on the shoulder, and she says, “They have no wine.”

Now, if we are mothers who have adult sons or are adult sons — let’s try to visualize this moment.  Try to visualize facial expressions and reactions that we are familiar with. Let’s picture this interaction while visualizing our own experiences.

Mary doesn’t say, “They have no wine. Is there anything you can do?”  She just says, “They have no wine.”   then she stands there staring at Jesus.

You can almost hear the implied, “Get up out of that chair and do something.”   She doesn’t just THINK Jesus might be able to do something; she absolutely – unquestioningly — KNOWS he WILL do something. 

That’s faith my friends; that’s faith. But it is also just a little funny when you put it in the context of mother and adult son.

And how does Jesus respond? Well, it sounds more than just a little rude, but here again, remember, this is mother and adult son.  Jesus responds:

“Woman, what does that have to do with you and me?  My hour has not yet come.”

 

Now, from my own experiences with my own mother, the look that Mary most likely gave Jesus at that moment probably would have curled his hair – or singed it off

It doesn’t matter how old you are, as a son one does not dismiss one’s mother with that kind of statement. — There’s also that inconvenient, little commandment . .

“Honour your father AND YOUR MOTHER.”

Jesus probably knew without any doubt at that moment, that he had better do something and do it quickly, if he knew what was good for him.  Such is the power of a mother throughout one’s life.

So, Mary does what any good mother would have done—after giving him THE LOOK.  She just puts him on the spot in a way that he can’t get out of.  She turns to the servants and says,

“Whatever he says to you, do it” (2:5). Then with another meaningful look at her son, she goes back to enjoying the party with her friends.

And once we’ve understood the humour, we can go back and have better appreciation for the enormity of what has just happened here. Think about what Mary has just done. She has just kick-started Jesus’ ministry — a ministry that will lead to our salvation.

You see, Jesus was hesitating here.  God the Father had sent him into the world on a world-saving mission, but he didn’t yet feel that the time had come for him to reveal himself.  But his mother knew. She knew that the time had come. She was pushing him into a place that he was still hesitating to go.  He didn’t feel ready, but she knew he was.

Mothers always know!

Just as any mother knows her son; Mary knew Jesus.  She didn’t argue with him.  She didn’t cajole. She just said to the servants, “Whatever he says to you, do it.” She knew that he would step up and help.

So, the moment came.  Jesus began his ministry with a sign.  A sign that may seem a bit innocuous in the grand scheme of things.

a sign that may seem trivial when compared with other signs he gave.

He didn’t think he was really ready yet, but his mother knew he was.

He saw six huge, stone water jars designed for holding water – water that would be used for the rites of purification – for cleansing.  So, being the good son and not wanting to get on the bad side of his mother, he tells the servants to fill the jars with water, and these men—who are probably also having a few sniggers at that point—take these huge jars and fill them to the brim with water.  Then Jesus says, 

“Now draw some out, and take it to the ruler of the feast” (2:8).

That’s it. That’s all he does. No prayers. No waving of hands. Just, “take it to the chief steward.” So the servants do. The chief steward tastes the wine and says,

“Everyone serves the good wine first, and when the guests have drunk freely, then that which is worse.  You have kept the good wine until now!” (2:10).

The author of this Gospel finishes the story by saying,

“This beginning of his signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee,
and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him” (2:11).

But there is so much more to this story. The writer needed us to understand – and I think he did it intentionally with some humour – he needed to provide us with starting point that showed Jesus as being – at the same time fully human and fully divine. From this point, it becomes more difficult to sort out the fully human when we view Jesus’ ministry.  But here, at the very beginning, it’s readily apparent.  

And that’s important for us because we need to understand that Jesus — in being fully human – God as human — Jesus knows who we are, how we feel, how we react; he knows what it’s like to be us.

That’s important for us to understand, because when we understand Jesus as being fully human AND fully divine, then we begin to understand better just what his sacrifice means for us.

Because as fully divine – as God – he has the power to save us from our sins,

but as fully human he knows exactly what it meant to suffer for us in order to save us.

And that is the greatest gift we could receive.

AMEN



We now have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HolyTrinityandStMargarets (Click on the Facebook logo) where events will be published and possibly the odd “emergency” statement such as that issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury in response to the Sri Lankan atrocity.  Please visit and ‘Like’ us.”