Season of Creation 2 – Sept 9, 2018, God’s presence in creation

Title:Season of Creation 2 – Sept 9, 2018, God’s presence in creation

 Season of Creation 2, Year B, Sept. 9, 2018 (full size gallery)

This Sunday was the second Sunday in the Season of Creation. We began the Bible study for adults on this topic. This Sunday was “Finding God in Creation”. The children began “Living the Good News.”

The weather was not inviting – heavy rain and wind. Our service only had 25 people.

Water is highlighted this week in our series “5 areas of the Environment.” We have seen areas of extreme drought in Europe this summer and yet the east coast seems overflowing with water. There have been more erratic periods of rain. Warmer air can hold a higher water content, which makes rainfall patterns more extreme. Bangladesh has a severe water crisis – Of the 160 million people, 4 million lack safe water and 85 million lack improved sanitation.

The higher temperatures are playing out in bodies of water. Oceans are vital ‘carbon sinks’, meaning that they absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide, preventing it from reaching the upper atmosphere. Increased water temperatures and higher carbon dioxide concentrations than normal, which make oceans more acidic, are already having an impact on oceans.

In the readings, water is part of transformation of life (Isaiah), the promise of salvation and everlasting life. In Isaiah it becomes the metaphor for salvation and healing where eyes will be opened, the lame shall walk

It can be associated with cleansing or generosity (as in the Gospel). The Gospel foreshadows when on the third day Jesus shall be resurrected. In this case it is a wedding at Cana where Jesus performs his first miracle changing water into wine.

The setting of a wedding feast echoes both the marriage bond between God and Israel and the messianic banquet at the end of time. Here John introduces us to Jesus mother, whom he calls by name – Mary. When Jesus calls her “Woman” we have a clue as to John’s purpose. If this is the new creation, then Mary is symbolically the new Eve.

The replacement of water to wine symbolizes Jesus’ transformation of the old order of ritual purification and of the Torah, which water symbolized, into the new order of purification through the cross, through the blood (1 John 1:7) and through new teaching.

None of the other Gospels contain this story. None of the other Gospels focus on miraculous signs the way John’s Gospel does. This story, however, shows the fullness of Jesus’ humanity and divinity. Jesus was present at this wedding to have a good time, to enjoy this moment, to be fully human—and at the same time, Jesus changes water into wine, altering the perception of him as an observer to an active participant of God’s reign on earth.

The sermon took up the subject of miracles , particularly those around us waiting to be discovered – the penicillin mold which is critical in medicine and the cocklebur’s hooks which led to the discovery of Velcro. In all of these it takes actions of us – we have to be participants

“Miracles aren’t just stories that are tucked into the pages of scripture—they are happening all around us, all the time. And the more we are aware of this fact, the more God can pull us in as willing and joyful participants in God’s ongoing miracle working on this earth.”

At Cana, although it was Jesus who changed the water into wine, it was Mary who saw the need to act. But there were others part of the miracle – the servants who filled heavy wine jars, the wine steward who announces the good news

The sermon also considered people today like Mary who were ready to act. “Rachel Carson is a good example of a modern-day Mary. “Back in the 1960’s, Carson wrote a book, Silent Spring, in which she documented how destructive the indiscriminate use of synthetic pesticides was on the environment. Until her book came out, the American public had been largely unaware of the wide scale destruction taking place around them, in which many people unwittingly participated.”

We need to pray the prayer- “God, I would love to be part of a miracle that you will be working today! Put me to work!” If you are brave enough to pray that prayer, get ready to be surprised and very busy!”