Lection Connection

January 16, 2022: Abundant Love

From Joan Kessler

 

We have all seen them. Those cute, funny images accompanied by a few lines of text. They show up in our social media feeds. We email them. We repost them. We tag others in our social media platforms who might share our sense of humour. They often cause us to laugh at ourselves. I’m talking about memes. And if there is a Jesus meme we have likely all seen at one time or another, it is the miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Jesus is displayed as the man who likes to have a good time, giving a holy thumbs-up to his ability to turn water into wine so the party can continue. One meme I saw recently displayed an exchange between Jesus and Judas. Judas sarcastically comments that wine is technically only 85% water so that’s only 15% miracle, to which Jesus responds, “This is literally the worst betrayal.”

 

Memes are a digital phenomenon that have become part of our cultural landscape and provide commentary on society. Ideas are shared and spread virally. Cute images of animals and baby Yodas accompanied by some words on our current state of affairs help us to feel connected and affirmed. They represent thoughts, feelings, and popular opinion. But such depictions are not new to the 21st century. Archeologists found images with captions dating back to 3 B.C. in Antioch depicting a bathing scene in three frames with the last illustrating a skeleton with a jug of wine. The inscription read, “Be cheerful. Live your life.” Good advice from a skeleton!

 

The pandemic has us all looking for ways and means to raise our spirits. A wedding celebration has become a bit of an anomaly with COVID health restrictions dampening the nuptials of many couples. Maybe this Sunday, I will look to the lighter side of the miracle at Cana and find some memes to share. No one in this miracle story came to Jesus asking for healing for themselves or for a family member they loved and cared for. Instead, it was a request by his mother to save the wedding party. The biggest concern was the poor planning of the caterer. Jesus comes through with more than enough wine, the good stuff we are told, that will see the celebration through to its conclusion. Turning water into wine is how Jesus begins his ministry in John’s gospel. Our Epiphany moment is Jesus’ display of abundant love for all. It foretells what is to come. And how Jesus, too, enjoyed a good wedding celebration.

 

Explore… John 2:1–11

  • As we experience supply chain disruptions and shortages, how does this story of a wedding party running out of wine resonate with us? What does it mean to have enough today?
  • What do we learn about Jesus’ nature from this story?
  • In this season of Epiphany, what is being revealed? What might we learn about ourselves?

 

Prayer…

God of abundance, of never running out, may we see your loving work in the everyday tasks of this new year. May we live with an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity and live life in ways that affirm there is enough for all. Amen.

 

Learn More…

 



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