Monday, January 14, 2013

Hope and Restoration Isaiah 62:1-5, John 2:1-11

If you can't find joy in yourself--its good to look to God. Reading scripture lately I've found great encouragement especially in the last 20 some chapters of Isaiah. Mixing the promise in the prophet's words together with the first miracle of Jesus, when he turned water into wine, gives me something to really celebrate. And at this moment in life I can say clearly that the words of Isaiah and the Good News of Jesus are good medicine for my soul.

So what's good in Isaiah today?
There's a promise that the prophet can't keep quiet about: salvation is coming (Isaiah 62:1). The prophet's message is simple and he keeps repeating this promise of salvation coming for Israel. But Israel isn't the only one God wants to redeem. Israel will be a light for the world. God will draw nations to this light (Isaiah 62:2) and Israel will be made ready by God a bride (Isaiah 62:3-5).

Isaiah's promise proceeded Jesus by 700 years; but when I read of the miracle in John 2:1-11, when water was turned to wine, I think of the hope of the faithful for the day when God would come to restore. The story deceivingly simple: a great wedding feast was underway and the wine ran out. Jesus' mother wanted him to do something--he resisted--but she told the steward to whatever his said (John 2:1-5).

Jesus has a way to make something out of nothing. He has a way--and we by faith live today celebrating this living promise that he who can make water into wine can work miracles in our lives. Jesus protested a bit to his mother that it wasn't His hour yet (John 2:4) but she was certain he could change the situation. Mary's faith can be a model for our faith--for our trust in God to work. She didn't say exactly what Jesus would or should do: but in faith she knew Jesus could take the problems and find ways forward that are beyond human reach. Coming to Jesus in faith opens us up to the possibility of miracle and new life: but in faith we know God is the one who chooses the way forward. Coming in faith means grabbing hold of the promises of restoration and hope that we meet together in the person of Jesus. This story of Jesus first miracle is a great reminder in our times of doubt of the joy and possibility for new life that we find in Jesus.
thanks for reading. Pax, John.

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