Cana’s Christ

I think all of us have Bible stories that leave us with questions.  My question with the Wedding at Cana story is pretty trivial–how did Mary know that Jesus would perform this miracle?  Presumably, Jesus did not perform miracles throughout his life on a daily basis, because in the Gospel of Matthew when he goes to Nazareth, they think he’s just a hometown boy:  “Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?”  So Jesus was obviously not going around performing miracles before His ministry started, or He would have been quite the celebrity.  So how did Mary know that Jesus would do it?

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples.  When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

I don’t know.  I guess I won’t know until heaven, when hopefully somebody up there will fill me in on the answers to all my stupid and irrelevant questions.  🙂  Pastor Matt, our former pastor, had a funny thought that since Jesus’ disciples had come with him, perhaps uninvited by the hosts, they drank all the wine.  So Mary was just pointing out that it really was Jesus’ problem because he brought these uncouth fishermen with him.  That’s always sounded plausible to me.  🙂

We were in Cana (now known as Kefer-Kenna) on our last day of the Holy Land pilgrimage, just before venturing off to Nazareth.  Nazareth and Cana are close together in the hills of Galilee, not far from the Mount of Transfiguration.  Scholars do not know that this is the real site of Cana, but some excavations have discovered what they think is a synagogue on this site, with some very old large stone jars, and the Franciscans of the Catholic church maintain a chapel there dedicated to the Wedding at Cana.

Two things stand out to me about our time in Cana.  Mark and I (and maybe two other couples) reaffirmed our wedding vows with Pastor Matt officiating.  We were not married in the church, and though we believe that God recognizes our marriage anyway, it was nice to do this with the pastor we have known for so many years just before he left our church (see “Joy and Sorrow” for that story).  I don’t feel any differently about my marriage to Mark–God blessed it before, and God blesses it now.  He holds marriage to be a sacred covenant between a man and woman, and Jesus going to a wedding that is recorded in the Bible reinforces the importance of marriage to God, as a symbol and foretaste of the marriage between the Bridegroom (Jesus) and the Bride (His church).  We have always been blessed in our marriage, yet reaffirming our vows at Cana brought this symbol to life a little bit for me.

The other thing that happened in Cana is something that I am still waiting on to be fulfilled.  We were able to spend some time in a wine shop, and I had the idea with a couple other ladies from church to buy some wine for Communion at Gloria Dei. However, we are saving it for a very special occasion: the first Divine Service that our new pastor officiates at with our congregation.  We are knee deep in the call process right now, and it’s not been an easy time for us.  When you’re without a shepherd, you’re vulnerable to the wolves.  We have some temporary shepherds helping us out right now, so we’re not completely exposed.  But we have to try hard to remain unified and positive, relying completely on God’s grace.  God blesses us every Sunday in our communion with Him and with each other, and I’m sure soon He will provide us with a new shepherd.  I am so looking forward to tasting Christ’s blood–in, with, and under Cana’s wine–with him.  I hope it will feel like coming home.



Excavations under the chapel at Cana
a very old stone jar


Reaffirming vows at Cana with Pastor Matt
Rolley, our guide, in the wine shop at Cana
beautiful fruit in Cana
a sundial in Cana

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