180 Gallons of Wine

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 2 King 13-14; John 2

 

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water,” and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some from them and take it to the headwaiter,” and they did. The headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine. He didn’t know where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.

The headwaiter called the groom 10 and said, “Everyone serves the good wine first. They bring out the second-rate wine only when the guests are drinking freely. You kept the good wine until now.” 11 This was the first miraculous sign that Jesus did in Cana of Galilee. He revealed his glory, and his disciples believed in him.

12 After this, Jesus and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples went down to Capernaum and stayed there for a few days. (John 2:7-12, Common English Bible).

In the movie, Bruce Almighty Jim Carey’s character Bruce has complained about God’s presence or lack thereof to the point that God, played by Morgan Freeman, is tired of listening to it. God temporarily gives Bruce divine powers over a small section of the city. In one scene Bruce is walking through a house with a party is raging around him. He is walking with an entourage around him with a wine decanter filled with water in one hand and a wine glass he fills with wine that changes from water as Bruce pours the water from the decanter. It is an obvious allusion to today’s reading from John’s Gospel.

As I sit and think about this passage and the scene from the movie passes through my mind I found myself asking which miracle was bigger, Bruce with his decanter of water that becomes wine or Jesus with more than 180 gallons of water that becomes wine?

If both were real stories, and we all know one, Bruce Almighty isn’t, they would be equal miracles. The hard part would be doing it, to begin with. Once the miracle happens it is just a matter of repeating it. Well, that would be the logic I might use if I was Bruce.

In reality, Bruce couldn’t change the first drop without the power of God. Additionally, in the movie, the quality of the wine is never stated. Jesus turned water into wine and it wasn’t just any wine, it was 180 gallons (at least, probably more) of the best wine.

The steward would have been someone who would have known wine and its quality. He raved about Jesus’ wine.

I and my colleagues, perhaps better than most anyone other than wedding coordinators and photographers can tell you all about the craziness that can happen at weddings. Unitarian pastor and author Robert Fulgham, in his book It, Was On Fire When I Lay Down On It, said, “Weddings are high state occasions involving amateurs under pressure. Everything never goes right.”

There is plenty of strangeness at weddings. For those at the Wedding at Cana, if they even knew something was up, they didn’t see weirdness. What they saw was miraculous.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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