The Mystery (Epiphany II, 2012)

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord, Jesus Christ. Our text for this morning is the Gospel just read from St. John chapter two. We will be looking at how God is present with us in grace for all the events of our lives, big and little, important and what seems unimportant to us.

Jesus came to the wedding. It’s really that simple sometimes. Jesus came to the wedding, and everything was different. We don’t know why He came. We don’t know the couple. We don’t know who the master of the feast was. We don’t know why they were such poor planners when it came to the wine for the feast, although to be fair, a wedding feast in Jesus’ time typically lasted seven days. That’s a lot of planning. We know Jesus was there, and Mary, His mother. And some of the disciples. And we know that with Jesus’ presence, everything changed and became new.

So often when it comes to the days and events of our lives, can feel like Jesus isn’t there. Accidents. Mess ups. Problems at home or at school or at work. We may be tempted to ask the question to God much like Moses, “Show me your glory.” “Look, Lord,” we might think to ourselves. “I know you’re God and that I’m not. I know that you can do all things. But people depend on me, and truth be told, I’m afraid. I’m afraid they won’t trust me or you. I’m afraid that when the going gets tough, that you won’t be there.”

If we are honest with ourselves, every one of us has these doubts and thoughts from time to time. Another variation is this, “Would God really care about all of these little problems that I have in my life? Shouldn’t He worry about bigger problems like world hunger or the salvation of mankind?”

There’s actually been some talk about this question in the news lately, although you may not have noticed it. For football fans, you know who Tim Tebow is. He’s the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. This has been a remarkable season for him, pulling out wins when it seemed impossible against all odds. What’s more, Mr. Tebow is an outspoken, overt Christian. It has gotten some people asking the question, “Does God want Tim Tebow to win? What if he plays someone else who is a Christian? Would God pick sides?” And what does it mean now that their season is over with the loss yesterday?

It almost sounds silly, doesn’t it? I mean, really. Does God really care about football?

The question could even be asked about more serious matters. You have probably heard the stories from World War One, when the Axis and Allies were on opposite sides of some trench in France on Christmas Eve, when they started sining Christmas carols to and with one another. Would God take sides when two Christians are both doing their duty against each other?

Speaking of war, let’s get back to this wedding, shall we? In marriage one can easily become obsessed with keeping score and determining who is right and who is wrong in any given matter. Like both football and war, the battle of the sexes in our homes can really make us wonder where God fits into the day to day events which we all face and struggle with. A wife brings that one chore up that isn’t getting done, and the husband loses his temper. Who do you think was blamed for running out of wine at the wedding? The master of the feast? The bride’s family? Somebody else?

The reality is that little things do matter to you and to me. In a marriage, putting your shoes away or taking care of the car when it needs work matters. It matters! Why? Because those little things of everyday life show your spouse, or parents, or children, or whomever it is that you believe they matter, and that what is important to them is important to you. Husbands, if you give yourselves up for your wives, as St. Paul exhorts in Ephesians 5, that shows your wife that you truly love her and that she is the most important person in your life. Wives, if you submit to your husbands, as St. Paul exhorts in Ephesians 5, that shows him that you trust him and trust his judgment, even (frankly) when it doesn’t make sense. The little things matter.

Now I agree with Paul here. This is a great mystery. But what we’re really talking about here finally is Christ and His holy bride, the Church. It’s like this. Christ loves the Church, His bride. He gives up everything for her. He cares as much about the little things as He does the big things. He wants her to be spotless and holy, pure in every way at the wedding feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end. And for that reason, He washes her with water and Word, He cleanses her, and puts upon her that most beautiful of white garments, the white robe of righteousness that He paid for with His own blood. Christ wants to spend eternity with His bride, not just a one night stand or “until love parts from us”.

His love for you, His Church, His bride, is such that every little thing matters. God has numbered the very hairs on your head. He knows every joy and sorrow you have had or will ever have. He rejoices when you rejoice and weeps when you weep. Even if it’s over a football game. (That, by the way, is no prediction of anything this afternoon!) You see, beloved, there is nothing too small or too great for our heavenly bridegroom, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus came to the wedding. And Mary, as a picture of the Church, tells our Lord what is wrong and then simply says, “do whatever He asks.” Today Christ Himself comes to you in preaching and Word and water and holy meal. He takes the little problems and the great into Himself. Your problems are His problems, and His righteousness is now yours.

So come to the wedding feast now. There’s plenty of wine, which is His blood, and bread, which is His body. He gives you Himself, completely. Come and believe. Come and live. Come to the wedding feast. All things are now ready.

Believe it for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

And now the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in true faith to life everlasting. Amen.

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