Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. (John 2:6)
Read John 2:1-11
There were several stone water jars in the house at Cana, meant to be used for washing. These were good-sized jars. They were probably nearly waist high. Filling them up with water would take some time. But once they were filled, the needs of the household would be taken care of for hours or days -- even if there was a wedding going on with lots of people. Jars like that were worth something -- humble, but very useful.
And that's a pretty good description of us, too, isn't it? Humble but useful -- at least, we hope so! We're only stone jars -- not gold or silver or anything with jewels all over it -- not even copper or bronze. But full of water (after a lot of work) they're useful things to have around.
No doubt those stone jars could have served out their useful lifetime without anybody paying much attention to them. But then Jesus got involved.
"Go fill those jars up with water," He says to the servants. Fine, they do it. That's nothing unusual. But then He shocks them. "Now dip some of it out and put it in a cup and take it to the master of ceremonies." Say what? Nobody drinks washing water! But they did it, and you know the rest of the story: the washing water had become the best wine.
What a shock to the bridegroom! He knew there wasn't supposed to be wine in those jars. And what a shock to us when Jesus takes the blah, boring water of our everyday lives and turns it into the wine of God's grace and mercy, passed through us to others who need it. "That's not what we were made to carry!" we might protest. "That's too good for us!" And so it is. But Jesus gives us the high privilege of being carriers of His love to others.
During this time of Lent, pour out that love and mercy to the people around you -- the love and mercy Jesus has showed you, even from the cross.
THE PRAYER: Lord, fill me with Your Holy Spirit, and use me to Your glory. Amen.
Which do you prefer, water or wine-and why?
Has God ever used you to do something you felt was above your worthiness? If so, what was it?
If you are willing, tell the story of a time when God turned the ordinary "water" of your life into unexpected "wine."
Author Dr. Kari Vo serves as theological writer for Lutheran Hour Ministries. She holds a doctorate in English (Renaissance period) from St. Louis University and has worked in writing and publishing for 30 years. She has published several books and written dozens of articles. Originally from California, she and her family are missionaries to the Vietnamese immigrants in the St. Louis area.
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