In the ending of the prologue of the Gospel of Saint John which we heard a couple of weeks ago as the Gospel reading for 2 Christmas, we are left to contemplate these words:
“we have seen his glory, the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and truth. And from his fullness we have received grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came from Jesus Christ.”
We are in that season known as Epiphany. Framed by the image of the magi who saw the light of the star that lead them in the quest to the place where Jesus was, we are reminded that ours is also a pilgrimage in which we are drawn to the compelling light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Last week we celebrated our response to the call by renewing our own baptismal vows. This week we are called upon to celebrate the outpouring of grace upon grace upon us as we seek the light, the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So we are reminded that the grace of God is like that crisis that came about at the wedding at Cana in Galilee. It has been said that to fail to plan is to plan to fail. How was it that they ran out of wine at this wedding? Were the guests thirstier than what was planned? It would be a horror to NOT have enough wine for a wedding feast– we can understand that well enough, but in the etiquette of the time, it was more than an unspeakable faux pas. To not have enough wine would be considered a compete, thoroughly offensive breach of hospitality.
So part one of the lesson is that when we have the courage to live by faith, God provides. And it took real courage for the servants to have filled up those six stone jars with water and then, in obedience to draw some out and take it to the steward of the feast. So, if part one of this Gospel is to have faith, and part two is to live by obedience. Part three ties into the earlier passage from Saint John’s Prologue: God’s blessing is in abundance. There is not just a little wine, there is 180 gallons of it. There’s not just a little grace, but from his fullness, We receive Grace upon Grace.