“Commit to Be Seen: Share Your Joy” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

January 17th,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

What a week. I am so thankful for those of you who joined us in person and online last week for worship as we talked about what it meant to show up and be seen as a person of faith. January’s action item for COMMIT 2019 is to tell 5 people that you are a Christian. This helps us share that being a person of faith is an important pillar of our identities. It also helps us reclaim the space of what it means to be a person of faith in our communities, nation, and world. If it is safe for you to do so (we recognize that this may not always be the case), share this part of yourself with people in your life that may not know you are a Christian. Be Seen Christians! What a gift that would be to our world.

This week’s scripture is one of those passages that people know no matter their relationship with the church or even God; Jesus turned water into wine. But do you know the whole story? Did you know where he performed this miracle? Who else was there? Who did he perform it for? Let’s take a look at the scripture and get a deeper understanding of what happened during that special moment.

“2:1 Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration.
At a certain point, the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no wine.”
Jesus replied, “Mother, what does that have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”
She instructed those waiting on tables, “Do whatever he tells you.”
As prescribed for Jewish ceremonial washings, there were six stone water jars on hand, each one holding between fifteen and twenty-five gallons. “Fill those jars with water,” Jesus said, and the servers filled them to the brim.
“Now,” said Jesus, “draw some out and take it to the caterer.” They did as they were instructed.
The caterer tasted the water—which had been turned into wine—without knowing where it had come from; the only ones who knew were those who were waiting on tables, since they had drawn the water. The caterer called the bride and groom over and remarked, “People usually serve the best wine first; then, when the guests have been drinking a while, a lesser vintage is served. What you’ve done is to keep the best wine until now!”
Jesus performed this first of his signs at Cana in Galilee; in this way he revealed his glory, and the disciples believed in him.”

Did you know that Jesus was at a wedding with his friends and his mom? Did you pick up on the fact that the first people to know were those not there to enjoy the party, but those that were there to serve and work? This is a theme throughout Jesus’s life that he shares his gifts and extra special connection with God, with those that were marginalized. Most often Jesus did his work and then went on his way, not discussing it with people at length. Sometimes saying nothing, sometimes just a sentence or two. Jesus reminds us that our actions are what is important. However sometimes we need to share the good work being done so that others who may not have seen it first hand, still get to experience it.

Jesus calls us to work. And sometimes we need to share the work we have done with God. Always to the benefit of glorifying God and with the humility shown to us in Jesus, but nonetheless sometimes we are called to share our own works. This may seem like we are bragging, or that we are making a competition of our faith, but like Jesus, sometimes the good news has to start with us. A way that I propose we can do that is again in this month’s commit to “Be Seen” action item of telling people that you are a Christian. Sharing that part of your identity, may surprise people and be the miracle they needed to hear to be their best self too.

Friends, I am thankful for a lot these days. I am thankful for Jesus. I am thankful for the joy I get when thinking of Jesus keeping the party going by turning water into wine! And I am also thankful for each and every one of you. Because you are who I get to share my faith with most often. And while it isn’t wine, it is definitely a gift that keeps on giving.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: Thank you for sharing your joy. May the joy in me remind others of you. Amen.