How full is full?

Giotto The Marriage at Cana 1303
Image via Wikipedia

In John 2 Jesus attends a wedding in a Galilean town called Cana.
Like many people at wedding receptions, it seems he took a low profile, perhaps feeling like he was on the edge of the relationships at the heart of the wedding.
Besides, celebrations can be hard when a difficult reality is always on the edge of consciousness. Jesus somehow carried the emotional burden of his impending sacrifice through all he is recorded doing in the gospels. This is how I know he understands that many of us can standing smiling at a party or shaking a hand warmly and at the same time be holding off sadness or fear or grief or anger or doom. Apparently there is a freedom for miracles even in the midst of this paradox, judging by Jesus’ example in John 2.
When the wine run dries Jesus is called on to intervene and he uses what is at hand: servants, clay jars, water, his own sense of what is good and right, and perhaps just a little passion for the surprising.
John records that there were six jars of 20 to 30 gallons capacity. We each have a certain capacity, some days it’s 20, some days it’s 30. Either way Jesus’ command was to fill them and they were filled to the brim. He is less concerned with our actual capacity – which will vary from person to person, day-to-day, season to season – as to whether we will receive his command to be filled.
The result was breathtakingly good and everyone benefitted. If you are like me you may also appreciate some breathtaking good right now… ‘Fill us full Lord!’
And then there’s the secret art of servanthood. While everyone enjoyed the ‘best for last’ wine, John says only the servants knew where it came from. Being a servant will mean you are not usually the one at the head table tasting the wine, but it may mean you get to share in a miracle, a touch of heaven, a piece of grace, that you will treasure forever. This is the unspoken reward of serving and it is sometimes little appreciated. Never mind, there will always be those who are still and obedient enough to hear the words – ‘fill them up’ – and go into the world and do just that. Let’s be among them today – only be sure to serve ‘full’!

Are we missing the very frontline of faith?

The Australian community is engaged in an extremely active and vigorous debate about the reality of God and I’m not sure the church at large is even aware it is going on.

While we faithful pray in our services and gatherings that God would move in our land, we may be missing the very answer to those prayers. (Try and stay with me my atheist readers, I know your blood pressure just rose at the mention of answered prayer.)

One of the first signs of spiritual revival might well be that people are even thinking about first order issues such as the origins and nature of life, is there supernatural or spiritual reality or only a material universe, and if religious claims are true how do we deal with many apparent contradictions and problems.

These kinds of questions are often and vigorously debated mainly in online forums and often in response to an increasing number of articles in the media addressing these questions from one perspective or another.

I can assure you this was not the case 10 or 20 years ago when most Australians didn’t want to discuss faith at all and where apathy and materialism (in this sense of material gain) seemed far more important.Read More »

‘No wonder Abbott believes in God’

Miracles made their way into the Editorial of today’s Daily Telegraph, courtesy of Tony Abbott’s close call with a semi-trailer:

“NO wonder Opposition leader Tony Abbott is so convinced in the existence of God. His survival yesterday – in fact, the survival of an entire carload of people – was miraculous.

“Instead of a terrifying accident, Abbott was later able to use the event to highlight his road-safety campaign. Beyond today’s politics, the footage of this episode may assist young drivers in understanding just how dangerous our roads can be.”

Good to see one of Australia’s major dailies indicate a healthy regard for the providence of God. Someone must be praying for our leaders…