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Archive for January 12th, 2016

Joy describes the wedding at Cana and it should describe any wedding.  Nowadays, we probably do not understand the joy that day in Cana.  In Jesus’ day, in Israel, after a man and a woman found each other, their fathers would come together for conversation to arrange the wedding and marriage.  They would write marriage covenant. The young man and woman would say to each other, Today, You are my husband, Today you are my wife.  Then the families then would have a betrothal dinner.  The couple were considered married. This is why as  Matthew’s Gospel begins, we read Joseph and Mary were betrothed and when Mary is found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, Joseph decided to quietly divorce her.  Betrothal only began a couple’s wedding journey.  She would then wear a veil to indicate in the town square that she was betrothed.  He would go back home to his family’s home and begin to add a room to their home for he and his bride.  This could take up to year to build.  When the room was built, the groom would send his groomsmen, complete with shofar, the ram’s horn, to go his bride’s home for her.  They would not know the hour when this would occur.  As the groomsmen approached the bride’s home, they might blow the ram’s horn.  With joy the bride and her party would go with the groomsmen to the groom’s home.  There in the privacy of their new room, husband and wife consummated their marriage, with the groomsmen standing guard outside.  Her veil was put aside.  The couple became one flesh.  Then began the wedding party which would last up to 7 days.

 This is exactly the time of the wedding at Cana.  The Lord knew what was going on…besides, He created marriage.  He brought His joy to the wedding of the man and the woman and added to their joy.  It takes time to make a couple.  One flesh is not an overnight or a hook-up.  Never was. In Luther’s day the church gave it’s approval to being a monk or nun as the holiest way of living. No, preached Luther, we find nothing in the Bible about monks or nun but right away in Genesis, we read of husband and wife.  Mary and her Son went to the wedding in Cana and He added more joy with the best wine.  Marriage is the estate ordained by God and is the basis of all authority.  Government, at it’s best is to protect  marriage not add to it by redefining it.  But government is only doing what so many churches have done:  redefine marriage or approve living together.  What Luther preached in his day is the same in our day:  “All heretics have denigrated matrimony and have sought for and begun some newfangled and bizarre way of life.” No kidding, Fr. Martin! I would guess that about 9 months after the wedding in Cana, the joyful couple had their first child.  Jesus would not have attended the move-in of a woman to live with her guy or  given consent to hooking-up or my biological clock is ticking, single-parenthood on purpose.  Churches, or Christians,  have said this is not so bad, and even God pleasing.  It is not. He does not want a child to fear abandonment because of different living arrangements.  He does not want a child aborted to fit a life-style.  The Old Adam likes, no, lusts after new ‘life-styles’. Once I was talking with my father-in-law about hooking-up and like and he quipped, I guess I was born at the wrong time.  Back in the ’60s, the  “new morality” was touted but as one conservative put it, it is actually the old immorality.  Christ was baptized for this…to save us from ourselves and sin, death and the power of the devil.  Our Lord protects husbands and wives with two commandments:  Honor your father and your mother and You shall not commit adultery. He protects, we wreck. The Lord loves the life He created, each and everyone of us, and wants it to continue and when fallen into disrepair He has sent His Son. He went to a wedding.

 Yes, a cross is laid on marriage, as it is written, there will be troubles in marriage. Yes.  If all the money of a  lifetime were put before a worker, like winning the lotto, it would not be considered to be enough.  But the Lord gives us money, our salary, we wonder if will we make ends meet. He will change water into wine as we manage and serve in our households.  This is God pleasing. If we are but godly and pious and let Him do the caring (Luther).  There will be enough so that faith is engendered, hope renewed and love quickened. When the wine ran out, they had enough by our Lord’s quiet sign of changing water into wine. The Christian home is faithful.

His Cross, His forgiveness in the home is the sign bar none of His forgiveness.  Husband and wife need His forgiveness day by day along with their children.  Forgiveness is bread on the table.  It is bread here today to be eaten, His body.  He commands all who would be His children to be washed in Holy Baptism and for the Christian household to walk wet in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit engenders His gifts bar none, more important gifts and fruits than any received this past Christmas. His gifts are:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   The Christian home is crucified and it’s member walk in the newness of life.  This newness is fostered and nurtured in confession and absolution. The Christian home is a confessional of sin, confesses Christ and confesses His praise by their service.

 Even His Mother cannot prescribe the time in which the Lord will help. Neither can we.  We come to the end of our rope, and cry out, Lord, help…in a situation like a wedding in which the wine has run out!  Jesus clearly teaches here for our sake, He will provide at the right time.  He did at the wedding at Cana.  He served the best wine. Mary said, Do whatever He says.  This is a good reminder to us all in all walks of life and especially in our homes.  Do whatever He tells you as in when you prayer, say, Our Father Who art in heaven.  Take and eat, take and drink.  Meditate on My Word.  The Christian home is a house of prayer.

 You have saved the best wine to the last. This could be a lesson for husband and wife.  When we first start seeing someone, we put our best foot forward, dress nice, best manners and personality…then marriage and my wife gets to know me. And one’s less charming aspects come to the fore quite quickly.  But of the Lord it can always be said, you have saved the best wine till now. His blood shed for repentant  sinners joyful in His forgiveness. We are told the master of feast knew could taste this was the best wine.  He probably did not know the first and original Master of the Feast was present with His disciples.  Jesus is the Master of the feast, this feast He founded.    My hour has not yet come, He told His Mother.  Jesus repeats this phrase, “my hour” a few times in the Gospel.  He changed water into wine, but this was not the glory.  His presence, message and person pointed to another glory, the glory of the only-begotten Son who died on the Cross for sinners in His love which conquers death.   He changes wine into His blood for us all. Taste and see that the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. The taste for sin is all too real and the taste of His joy in the family knows no bounds and He has overcome the world.  So the Christian home serves Jesus Christ. 

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

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