Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turning water into wine

I come from a large family and in my childhood attended many weddings and gathering. And the wine flowed freely. As a student of Christian Science I have a different perspective on many things now. But fond memories of being with family and friends for celebrations.

John's gospel is the only one of the four that records this incident, coming so early in Jesus' ministry. It is filled with personal and eye witness details. Jesus had gone off on his own as a grown man but his mother must have kept some tabs on him as she knew how to call him to attend this wedding. She invited his new disciples to the feast as well.

When I study Bible stories I often check to see what Dummelow has written in his commentary. He says, "St. John records it, because, spiritually interpreted, it forms a suitable introduction to our Lord's ministerial work." He also notes, "Christ changes the water of Judaism into the good wine of the Gospel." It showed Jesus as Lord of matter as well as of spirit.

Wedding feasts went on for days and by the third day they were running out of wine. Dummelow comments that it was perhaps caused by the presence of so man (five or six) of the disciples so Jesus had a natural motive for working this miracle.

Another wonderful source for information is the JSH (Journal, Sentinel, Herald) site where one can look up articles from the periodicals. I found one that I will work with today, written by Ralph E. Wagers, entitled Turning Water into Wine. Mr. Wagers, a renowned Christian Science teacher, makes some wonderful points. "Jesus' presence at this marriage feast, as well as his part in the festivities, may have been more important than appears on the surface. Could it be possible that his turning the water into wine called attention to and dramatized the transforming nature of his ministry, a ministry that was to elevate the human concept of existence to a higher - a spiritual - basis?"

I liked what Mr. Wagers said about the wine. "The first wine, the wine of intoxication, might be said to typify the unreal material basis of things. The better wine, the wine of inspiration and understanding, might typify the spiritual foundation and superstructure that is real, right, and eternal. Turning water into wine could point to a more divine sense of human relationships, the result of purification and spiritualization of thought."

This also resonated. "Gratification of the senses, the pride of possession, and the competitive influences of self-will are not conductive to a happy, enduring home life. but when the participants
replace that wine with the wine of inspiration and understanding, purified, unselfed motives and aims bring to home and family of taste of heavenly bliss."

This is a reminder to me to see what it is I am 'drinking in' each day and to be aware and alert to always seek the wine of inspiration and understanding. It is also worth noting that following that miracle 'many believed on his name when they saw the miracles which he did', but he didn't want them to just be impressed, he wanted their thinking to be elevated to become more spiritually based. Inspired. Our Lesson says all things become new, then all thoughts can become new as well. We can demonstrate that same control over the nature of matter to see it purified so we can see the real man and his relationship with God.

Try it today, turn those watery thoughts to the pure reality of your status as the image and likeness of God, good. Be inspired.

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