Epiphany 2 2024

Epiphany 2
Jan 17, 2024 School Wednesday – taken from January 20, 2019
St. John 2:1-12

In the Name of the Father and of the +Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Mary asks Jesus to do something about the lack of wine. Jesus tells her “no.” He then asks “what does this have to do with Me?” He means “nothing.” It doesn’t have anything to do with Him or His mission. He tells her why: His hour has not yet come. He will restore creation. His children will be free of sorrow. They will suffer no lack. There will be no lack of wine or food or friends. There will be no lack of health or faith or love. Their cups will overflow.

But not yet. First He must endure this fallen creation and know lack. He must go without faithful friends, without honor, without a place to lay His head. Despite His hardships and the abuse that He suffers, He will not sin. Then He must sacrifice Himself and suffer His Father’s wrath as our Substitute, Passover, and Scapegoat. There He will be glorified and draw all men to Himself. Then He will rise, establish the Ministry, and ascend into heaven. Then, after all of the elect are sealed in the waters of Holy Baptism, at last He will set loose the angel with the destructive winds and create new heavens and a new earth. But not yet.

Mary suffers the rebuke without comment. Likely she wasn’t meaning that He bring about the time of endless wine. She simply wants Him to do something for the moment. But she gets rebuked almost as though she asked for the moon to be made out of cheese and given to her on a plate.

It seems to me she didn’t really know what she was asking. She was just complaining without thought. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that she accepts that the Lord, her Son, will restore the world and has come to be our Bridegroom in peace, to make us holy, to provide joy for us. She doesn’t know what, if anything, He will do right then in Cana. So she tells the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.”

Like us, she knows the end of the story but not the middle. She knows what God has promised but not when it will happen or all the details.

She is most commendable in this. She is like the rarest of toddlers. She asked for a cookie and her mother handed her a piece of cauliflower. She was not fooled by the cauliflower. She knows what she asked for, but she does not throw a tantrum. She receives it gladly, with thanksgiving, trusting that her mother knows best.

I don’t know if there has ever been a toddler who did that, but that is what Mary does when she accepts Our Lord’s rebuke and submits to His will. This ought to be standard, but it in practice it is highly unusual behavior for Christians – but it is not impossible. God’s grace does change and improve our fallen hearts. We do learn through the cross to trust in God and His Word.

Our Lord relented with St. Mary. He turned water into wine. He gave an abundance to people who didn’t deserve it or understand it, who almost certainly abused it. We live by faith and thus benefit from seeing the example of Mary when she didn’t know what would happen but trusted that Jesus loves her and the world.

When He says to her “My hour has not yet come,” she hears more than a rebuke. She also hears a promise. His hour had not yet come, but it would. The day would come when Mary would be relieved of all social pressure and embarrassment, of loneliness and physical pain, of guilt and regret. His hour would come and He would make it her hour as well. Knowing this, knowing the goodness of Her Son, she was ready to suffer not getting what she asked or going without and was willing to wait. Her prayer was not rejected even though its reward was delayed. Thus she will eat cauliflower happily and wait for the day of cookies to come.

Our hour has not yet come. But it will. Jesus hears our prayers. He comes for us. There will be wine.

In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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