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Marriage and a miracle (02/05/2012)
From: T.M. Schoewe

Do you know anyone who doesn’t enjoy being invited to a wedding, especially a celebration? According to the 2nd chapter of the gospel of John, it was on the 3rd day after His baptism that Jesus was followed by Andrew who introduced Him to his brother Simon, whom Jesus nicknamed Peter or “Rocky”; (Cephas is Greek for stone). The next day Andrew finds Nathaniel who also follows the Lord. On the next day (the third day) we find Jesus and these disciples at a wedding celebration in the little village of Cana. Here Jesus begins His public ministry and performs a miracle.

In the midst of the celebration the governor (master of ceremony) and Mary who may have been related to either the bride or the groom, discover they are out of wine. Mary is sure that Jesus can do something about this discovery. She reports it to Him and receives a strange answer. It was as though “why are you bothering me?” But Mary is convinced that Jesus will take care of the young couple’s problem. She tells the servants to do whatever the Lord tells them.

Probably at the entrance of this dwelling there were 6 large stone water pots for the washing of one’s hands and feet. They held 2 or 3 firkins a piece. A firkin is equivalent to 9 imperial gallons. The Lord directed the servants to fill the stone pots with water and then to draw it back out into smaller vessels and carry them to the governor, who knew not from whence or how this wine came to be, but the servants knew. When he tastes the water made into wine he notices that the new wine was better than the wine they had run out of. He reprimands the bridegroom saying it’s not customary to save the good wine until the last but to serve the good wine first and the poor wine last. Well, you can read this story for yourself and get the gist of this in John 2. By the way, these wedding celebrations often lasted for several days. In the meantime note, Jesus not only made wine out of water but He made a lot of it, between 108-160 gallons of it. And it was good wine.

By the way, temperance people have challenged this story and say when did it get time to become wine? It must have only been grape juice. To which we reply, when did it even get time to become grape juice? And teetotalers will say this is just too much wine. What we want is just a little wine. Wrong! If there is only a little wine you will have to go and get some more before it is gone! If there is plenty (and there was probably enough for this young couple to celebrate a number of anniversaries) you do not have to rush to get more! It is not the use but the misuse or abuse of anything that is wrong.

Anyway, at this marriage we also have a bride and groom who became one flesh just like it was at the beginning of the story of this world. Today we have strange events of men marrying men and women marrying women! To call these arrangements a marriage and to seek legislation to call them “marriage” to avoid taxes, etc., is an affront to the maker of mankind and erodes the heart and soul of society, the traditional family. There are a number of other words you can find to label such arrangements. Add to this picture the high number of divorces and all the people just living together; plus all the children without a mother or a father and those that are orphans, and it becomes ever so clear how things have devolved. What’s more, add to this troubling picture the disaster of what has become legal in this dear country abortion, which in time has and will continue to destroy millions of lives. All of this shows us just how far our society and government have fallen from the Epiphany of our Lord’s visit to the wedding in Cana.

The Lord’s presence and His wonderful gift of all that good wine to this young couple opened the minds and hearts of those followers who came to the wedding with Him. It says they believe in Him as they saw His glory in that generous miracle. Their eyes are opened to see Him as “the Lord of nature,” and as they would later find as they followed Him, “the Savior of the world!”

Like Andrew who introduced his brother Simon (Peter) and his friend Nathaniel to Jesus, let us introduce others whom we know have not met Him; Him Who was baptized for the world and Him in whom we have faith as the ultimate authority over the outcomes in our lives, especially those of grave concern to us and beyond our control but nevertheless require personal conviction in making the right decision. Let’s encourage them that they too might find consolation in Him through prayer and meditation, and have faith in Him during desperate and difficult times and (in good conscience) thereby choose the right thing to do. As Mary said, Jesus will do something about the problem. Do what Jesus tells you to do. Pass this beautiful Epiphany on as His Spirit leads you.

P.S. After we finished writing this article we read in the WSJ (25JAN2012) a beautiful piece by Timothy Dolan entitled “Obama Care and Religious Freedom.” Please read it if you haven’t already. You probably can find it at the Wall Street Journal website or by google-ing the title. Or maybe it’s still at the local library. Anyway, how can a president and a congress insist you have to have insurance that covers abortion??? Do not forget to vote! Mark your ballot with a “t” (a cross) instead of an “x.” Have we lost our religious freedom and with that the freedom of conscience?

P.P.S. Pam’s Story

In a recent email, I read about a woman named Pam, who knows the pain of considering abortion. She and her husband were serving as missionaries to the Philippines and praying for a fifth child. Pam contracted amoebic dysentery. She went into a coma and was treated with strong antibiotics. They discovered she was pregnant.

Doctors urged her to abort the baby for her own safety and told her that the medicines had caused irreversible damage to her baby. She refused the abortion and cited her Christian faith as the reason for her hope that her son would be born OK. Pam said the doctors didn’t think of it as a life, they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue.

While pregnant, Pam nearly lost their baby four times. She recalled making a pledge to God with her husband: If you will give us a son, we’ll name him Timothy and we’ll make him a preacher.

Pam ultimately spent the last two months of her pregnancy in bed and gave birth to a healthy baby boy. Pam’s youngest son is indeed a preacher. He preaches in prisons, makes hospital visits, and serves with his father’s ministry in the Philippines. He also plays football. Pam’s son is Tim Tebow.

 

 

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