Sunday Worship Guide

  Sunday 16 January 2022 Kinlochleven and Nether Lochaber Parish Churches

Bible Thought (Proverbs 10:22) ‘The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich and he addeth no sorrow with it’.


Hymn

God of mercy, God of grace,
Show the brightness of Thy face;
Shine upon us, Saviour, shine,
Fill Thy Church with light divine;
And Thy saving health extend
Unto earth's remotest end.

Let the people praise Thee, Lord;
Be by all that live adored;
Let the nations shout and sing
Glory to their Saviour King;
At Thy feet their tribute pay,
And Thy holy will obey.

Let the people praise Thee, Lord;
Earth shall then her fruits afford;
God to man His blessing give,
Man to God devoted live;
All below, and all above,
One in joy, and light, and love.

 


Prayer God of glory and grace we give thanks that your Son shared the experiences of our common life. We thank you that as we learn of his works, we are led to believe in the obedience of faith. O that we might taste again of the sweetness of his forgiving love. We ask it in Christ’s name and to his glory. Amen.

 

Scripture John 2:1-11 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

Message It is said that in 1640 Mary Cameron of Callart swam across Loch Leven to escape the plague, and was met by her soon to be husband, Diairmid Campbell of Inverawe, who brought fresh clothes and a pair of swift horses. Few marriages have a beginning as dramatic as this. The wedding in Cana of Galilee in today’s reading was no less memorable when they ran out of wine. Those in charge of the arrangements had become anxious. It may be that Mary, the mother of Jesus was responsible for the catering, for it is she who directs the servants, and brings Jesus into the situation.

 Perhaps Jesus and the seven disciples he had by then chosen had not arrived until the wedding celebrations were underway. They had been near the Jordan river. Jesus now did something extraordinary. John records just seven miracles, seven being the perfect number. Each of these signs demonstrates a truth in the spiritual realm. The turning of water into wine shows us the transforming power of Jesus, that makes lives and situations better. His wonder working power saved a calamitous situation. He can do just as much for us today. He can bring something lovely out of a situation that seems hopeless.

   There were large stone water vessels. The older translation said each contained two or three firkins. My cookery book uses antiquated measures such as a gill of water. Some of you may know the old Scots measures, a forpet (half a gallon), a peck or boll (just under 2 gallons).

    The servants filled the vessels with water, but by the time they poured the contents out, the water had become wine. ‘The conscious water saw its God and blushed’, as 17th poet Richard Crawshaw wrote. Jesus had saved the day. Running short of wine might seem a minor blip, but it shows God is concerned with the details of our lives.

 The exchange between Jesus and his mother reads rather strangely. The first bit is straightforward, ‘They have no wine’. Sometimes all we need do is bring a need to God. ‘Lord, this is the problem…’ The next bit needs explanation. The commentators tell us there is no disrespect intended in Jesus addressing his mother as ‘Woman’. What then he says to her is best understood as ‘I have no reason to quarrel with you.’ Jesus goes on to make clear that the hour of his public manifestation as messiah king had not yet come. Even so he turned water into wine. It is as when he healed the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman, first he made it clear that the time for the Gentiles was not yet come. 

Here in the first of his signs Jesus shows that he comes to bring a new order into our lives. God had come to turn the age of promise into the age of fulfilment. The Old Testament gives way to the New.

   Murillo’s painting of the marriage feast of Cana includes a black boy. Seville in 1672 was a centre of the slave trade. Murillo was bringing the Bible into his present day. We are all becoming acutely aware of how slavery was in past times just an accepted part of life.   

   When planning for a festive occasion you may hold back something special for the finale. There’s still time to enter the competition for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pudding! The master of the banquet in the Bible story remarked that they had left the best wine till last. With Jesus in our lives there is always more and better to follow.

    Jesus performed this the first of his signs at a wedding feast. It is a reminder for us that when he returns to complete his work he will preside at the marriage supper of the Lamb.     

        

  Prayer Loving and gracious God, how amazing that Jesus turned water into wine. May we experience his transforming power and grace in our lives and situations. May your Holy Spirit do a work in and through us. Lord of all we bless you and praise you. We pray further in the words our Saviour has taught us, saying Our Father….  Closing Words Glory be to Christ, the coming King. May the blessing of God, Father Son and Holy Spirit be with us now and always. Amen.