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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sermon 01152012 2nd Sunday After Epiphany

May the words of my mouth and the meditations of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight O Lord, our rock and our redeemer!!  AMEN!!

Let us pray!  Lord Jesus Christ, at the wedding feast in Cana, Your mother pressed You to ‘fix’ the situation.  In obedience to Your mother You performed the first of many miracles, but it was not just a miracle, but a revelation of Your glory for Your people.  May we who partake of Your precious Body and Blood this morning receive, the miracle of Your presence in, with and under the Bread and Wine and receive the greatest gift of Your Precious Body and Blood and Eternal Life for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.

This past Sunday, the football game between the Denver Bronco’s and the Pittsburgh Steelers was for some an opportunity to gloat.  When the game finally ended, we know the outcome, the Steelers season had come to an end.  Some claimed it was ‘destiny’, others claimed it was a miracle.  The fact remains, Denver would continue playing in hopes of making it to the Super Bowl and the possibility of earning the coveted ring.  Interestingly the man who led the Bronco’s is a man of faith, we know as Tim Tebow.

In this morning’s Gospel lesson, another man of great faith, Jesus Christ, is not known in Cana of Galilee and is currently without a target on His back from the Scribes and Pharisees.  Jesus is attending a wedding with His mother.  What occurs, but Mary, enlists Jesus in service to help the family because they, the family and friends, have ‘drunk’ all the wine that had been acquired for the marriage banquet.  This is one of the greatest tragedies of a family that is not prepared at the celebration of a marriage.  Unlike the game last Sunday, Jesus mother knew of the potential of Jesus, and “said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” ”  With the faith not only of a mother, but a believer who had carried Him in her womb and travelled to Jerusalem to dedicate Him, fled for Egypt for sanctuary and safety and returned to Nazareth, Mary believed in Jesus.  What does occur, but a miracle, the first recorded divine act of Jesus Christ.  Jesus instructs the servants to fill the jars with water and then draw a drink out to take to the headwaiter.

When I was in Israel in Cana of Galilee there is a church that has been built on the site of this historic first miracle of Jesus.  In an alcove a jar, similar to the one used in Jesus day sits and one cannot but feel a connection with Jesus Christ Who walked those very streets over 2000 years ago.

This morning we partake not of a miracle that is as tangible as water being turned into wine, but we partake of a greater miracle.  The miracle we partake of is our partaking of the precious Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  When the words of institution are spoken, God reaches down from heaven and in, with, through and under the earthly elements of bread and wine, reveals the greatest miracle we are enabled to see today.  No longer is it just bread and wine, it becomes the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, broken and shed for each and every one of us for the forgiveness of sins.  Unlike with the miracle of Cana in Galilee, we sit on the front row and are called to be ‘active participants’ of the miracle of the gift of eternal life for all of us.

Yet, what is our response?  We know from the Gospel, the response of the headwaiter who tasted the Wine, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.  So to with the feast we receive this morning, what is your response?  How do you receive the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ?  Will you continue as if nothing changes?  Or will you after having been fed by Jesus Christ precious Body and Blood, which gives the forgiveness of sins and eternal life, be changed, be transformed or be renewed for service in God’s Kingdom?

Just as Jesus first miracle revealed His power and possibilities of the future of His ministry, we as well have the opportunity as well in the service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I ask you now as you come forward this morning to receive the miracle of Jesus Christ in the Bread and Wine as the precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ to work in God’s Kingdom and be active participants here at Emmanuel.  If you don’t know how God can use you, whether you are 7 or 77, I would like to walk with you down the path of discernment and let God through the work of the Holy Spirit mold and shape you to be the child of God that you are destined to become.  You could be a greeter, reader, usher, coffee host, council member, board member or any capacity you feel led to serve in, but more importantly, God through His precious Body and Blood, broken and shed for you feeds you for His service in His Kingdom here at Emmanuel.  It is my prayer that we can do this together and through the power of the miracle of Jesus precious Body and Blood transform our lives our ministry and our church into the divine work that God has in store for us here in Goodland, KS, for all of us saints gathered here at Emmanuel.  AMEN.
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