C Cycle – 2nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 19
During my years of ministry, I have laid hands on many people and prayed for physical healings, emotional healings, spiritual healings, relationship healings, joy, peace, jobs and just about everything the human heart could desire from God. Over those years I have seen the mighty deeds described by Paul in today’s epistle as a spiritual gift given to us. However, I have never had that sense that those miracles were because I had been given. Just the opposite God works mighty deeds every day because God is just being God, after all he identified himself as “the Lord who heals you” (EX. 15:26).
Understanding it is God’s nature to transform water into wine, sickness into health, pain into joy is because it is his nature. That is one reason we should never doubt God’s transforming power to change ordinary into something extraordinary. When we pray “according to your will” we are not doubting but affirming it is his will to restore and change us.
God said my joy will be your joy, my peace will be your peace, come to me and I will give you rest, and no more will you be forsaken for you are my delight. Mary understood this and that is why she could say, do whatever he says because his desire is to bring us joy. I have seen things called miracles but that is not what I want you to focus on today. We have a contrast of him telling us we will not be forsaken and the plight of a joyous wedding day about to be destroyed. What I would like to focus on today is how do we help those who doubt anything can be done when the wine has run out.
Haven’t we all seen in the eyes, heard in the cry, and observed the despair of those broken and because of their battles with forces beyond their control.
How can you give hope to those who have lost a child, a husband or wife before they have had a chance to see all the potential of their lives fulfilled? God promises of joy, peace or restoration cannot get to their hearts because they don’t know his love for them. Yet, those promises are real and in them lies the very source of their healing. How can you heal the damage done by an abusive spouse when the persons image of their own worth has been destroyed and any hope to find joy again is destroyed?
I believe one reason we have been given the Scriptures is because they are a record of his covenant promises to us sealed with the blood of his Son. They reveal God’s plan for restoring our glory lost by the sin of Adam. Think of the ramifications caused by Adam’s self-serving sin. Because of his disobedience, we were condemned to a life of hardship. God said, “cursed be the ground because of Adam, in toil we shall eat its yield all the days of our life. Thorns and thistles shall the earth bring forth for us to eat. By the sweat of our face shall you get bread to eat” (Gn. 3:17-19.
If that is not enough to bring us down, God told Cain “sin is a demon lurking at your door and its urge is toward you.” We are under siege and we do not know when our wine will run out. These readings today are demanding us to answer the question, how much do we trust God to overcome the things that come to destroy our joy.
None of what happened because of Adam’s sin was God’s plan but he did put a plan into action that day to restore us. Through the prophet Isaiah God is telling us how much he desires to have us feel we are his delight. We must trust in the promises of God and we must believe we are worthy of receiving those promises. We are his delight because he put in us every quality, he delights in seeing. Like a loving father watching his child taking those first steps, he is always seeking that one move of us toward him. We need to step by step move into his open arms. Mary gives us a clue today how to do that and it is to “do what Jesus tells us.”
We are called to be the people who understand his will and say the words that point the way toward restoration for those who see nothing but the impending disaster. This means we must know him as intimately as Mary did in order to give hope to those who do not believe in the promises of God. The good news is we know we have noting to offer but we know God does.
We can pray for God’s intervention and know he will act because we have felt the arms of a loving Father surrounding us and calling us his delight. Peter understood forgiveness because he failed when his biggest test came to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. Peter wrote, “the Lord knows how to rescue the devout from trial and rescue them from punishment” (2 Pet. 2:9). He understood how his sin, the sin of others, tragedy or fear will destroy your image of your worthiness to be loved by God. Here is an amazing fact, God’s image of you never changed from the day of creation when he declared us ‘very good.”
We are his delight and his desire are to bring joy to all his children. On our part we must do what the scriptures have always encouraged us to do and that is return to him. Allow him to restore you by his presence and his healing power to renew you, heal you, wipe out the pain of those physical and emotional hurts and to feel his love poured into your heart by the Holy Spirit. Then like Mary we must be willing to help others find the God who delights in them.
We must listen and allow them to ultimately say they want to drink the water turned into wine. What brings delight God’s heart is when we allow him to change our ordinary lives into extra ordinary ones.