Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Matthew with St. Chad, Smethwick

3rd Sunday of Epiphany

23 Jan 2021, midnight

3rd Sunday of Epiphany - 24th January 2021

Readings: Genesis 14:17-20; Psalm 128; Revelation 19: 6-10; John 2:1-11

LET US PRAY: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, Lord our strength and our redeemer. Amen.

A Word from Barbara: I would like us to take a moment and just think about what we have heard about how people are helping each other in the climate we live in at this time, the things we have seen or heard.

Things I have heard about and seen:

• a service offering home deliveries and dog-walking.

• A milkman delivering more than just milk on his rounds to help those self-isolating.

• People sending pictures and positive messages

• There are those who are vulnerable and are unable to go out to help others so they help via phone calls or a text.

• There are those who are committed to praying for those in need and those helping.

Sometimes we can forget the good which is happening around us and even on our doorsteps. I think it is great how in our world as it is people are still reaching out and helping others in whatever way they can safely, whether it is with something small or something large, we are still continuing to find safe ways to help. Whether it is a doorstep delivery, a phone call, a card, a wave outside the window, a text message. When bad things occur in our world it is a shame that they tend to be exposed and remembered more than the good which is taking place. We can forget how beautiful our world is, and how helpful people can be.

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus and his mother attended a wedding celebration. Now there are many thoughts, debates and views around this reading, about the wedding of Cana. For example, some focus on the way Jesus addresses his mother (woman), verse 4 or the way Jesus answers his mother (verse 4), some would see it as disrespectful.

However, what is seen here from my perspective is back to basics. We have a newly married couple who along with family and friends are celebrating a very important part of their lives, a commitment they have made to each other. (Apparently they celebrate for seven days). Then an issue occurs the wine is finished Jesus’ mother tells Jesus what has happened and it sounds as if she is expecting him to do something about it. Jesus does, the water is turned into wine. Jesus has done what Jesus does! Jesus helped.

This was Jesus’ first miracle/sign, in fact Jesus performed many miracles and this miracle compared to some of the other ones may be considered trivial or even unnecessary. For example, healing the blind man (John 9:1-7), healing the leper (Matthew 8:1-4), raising the dead (Mark 5:37-43) and many more. In comparison water to wine may not hold the same value as other miracles for some. We need to be careful not to judge such things in this way for our needs are not all the same. But what is also happening in these miracles/signs is Jesus is helping, helping people and by so doing setting an example to others, to us. Jesus was and is meeting people where they are in their time of need. Jesus had the ability to help whether it was water to wine or raising the dead.

We too are equipped and are still being equipped to work alone or together to do our part in looking after each other. We all have different roles in life, and when we spend time in God’s presence we are guided to know what we are to do, how we can help, whether it is to pray or make a phone call, say good morning and acknowledge someone, or smile. God loves us and wants us to be safe, wants us to look after each other so we can make this world a better place. We have different gifts, we have different ideas, we can come together and share these gifts and ideas to help others, to show love. What is important is to remember is, we believe in a God of love. Jesus came and taught his disciples about love, about looking after others John 13:34-35 “a new commandment I give you: that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

1 John 4:16 So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.