For the next three weeks, I will be dedicating some extra time to gearing up for the upcoming Passion Retreat. So because of that, I will be pulling in one Guest Post per week – usually on Fridays – to allow me some more time to prepare. Today’s Guest Post comes from a good friend of mine, Sam Beshara – whose blog is titled THE LABORER OF THE ELEVENTH HOUR. Sam writes a nice post on one of my favorite stories from the Bible. Enjoy and have a great weekend!
"Water You turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind. There's no one like You, none like You" - Our God, Chris Tomlin
Yes, the good ol' miracle that we've heard of that seems so beyond us and our abilities. As recorded by the Gospel according to St John, this was the first miracle performed by Jesus Christ. A small summary of the story - Jesus was at a wedding in Galilee and they had run out of wine. His mother, St Mary, kinda put Him on the spot to do something about it. He had people bring jars of water, He turned it into wine, and the people loved it - asking "Why didn't you bring out this good stuff before?!"
According to the customs, the 'good' wine was always brought out first so people can be impressed with the wine. Then, when people had a little too much to drink, the host would replace it with 'bad' wine because the guests were already getting a little buzz, so they wouldn't be able to tell the difference. There was something about this 'transformed' wine that was like no other they've tasted before.
Here's something to think about. When was the last time YOU had that impact on someone? As an Orthodox Christian, we believe in the sacraments to allow us a more complete, clear, and true understanding of the Fullness of Christ. In each of the sacraments (also known as mysteries), something cool happens. There is a Divine power from God that 'transforms' something. In the celebration of the Eucharist, bread and wine become Body and Blood, in a wedding the 'two become one flesh', etc. There is a transformation.
Fr Alexander Schmemann, in his book Liturgy and Life, emphasizes the fact that we should integrate 'Liturgy' (symbolizing all the sacraments) and Life. That we should live a "Sacramental Life" to live to our fullest potential, that Christ has designed for us. So, we understand that in a sacrament, there is a transformation taking place. Mother Teresa understood this, and said "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better or happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness"
Discussion: Can you recall a time when your life transformed someone else's? When is the last time YOU turned water into wine?