Time of Celebration, Time of Reflection, Time of Action, Time of Faith

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

In the midst of celebration

We can not ignore the hard work that God is calling us to

We can not ignore how God is stretching us

We can not ignore how deep God’s Word digs into our very being

Because that is the example the Creator left for us,

In God’s Son Jesus Christ.

Amen.

 It’s easy to remain there,

Warm and nestled in the midst of the children’s sermon

Hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ

That Jesus is the reason for our joyfulness and celebration

That Jesus comes right in on time

And in abundance

And yet,

When we go out of these doors

Into the wider community

We can’t ignore the fact

That it seems that there are places

Where God still has not shown up, it seems

When we share God’s Peace,

What is our role

When an uncomfortable situation surfaces

With that question

“How are you?”

Erupts into tears and sorrow

Accusing God of passing them by

That God’s abundance

Is lacking

Is missing

Is absent

(pause)

And there never is a good time

To just sit with the question,

Of why them and not us

Or rather if they suffer,

Shouldn’t we without question or hesitancy

Opening the doors of our Home

Opening up hospitality

Because if we claim to be God’s servants

Then through us,

Through us sharing of ourselves

Isn’t that how the abundance of God, Our Redeemer

Flows?

(pause)

And that it is never the right time

To have these conversations

That even for example, right here in South Holland

If someone comes begging

Pleading

Searching

At their breaking point

That is perfectly okay for us

To send them down to Restoration Ministries

Because it seems they have abundance

Because they have cornered the market on hospitality

And because they seem to be able to do so much

That lets the rest of the wider community

Off the hook

And leaves the question hanging there,

But what are we called to do?

(pause)

It leaves the question about what those refugees

From the harshness of life are encountering

Are they welcomed and cared for without question?

Without conditions?

As sometimes unfortunately,

Our fellow sisters and brothers in Christ place

upon the least of these

Christians joyfully go into places of darkness,

Like prisons, halfway houses

Homeless shelters

On the streets

We are called to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ

That because of God,

Christ loves, Christ gives

Over abundantly

Regardless

But only if they convert

Join our church

Do what we say

Or even,

What are you going to do with this money that I am giving you?

In the midst of Christmas morning

A day of celebration

I had to run to my local CVS for something random

I encountered a homeless woman outside,

When I came back out

I handed her money

Behind me as I walked away,

I heard another woman approaching and encountering her

The homeless woman begged

And this woman questioned her

“You’re out here asking too early!”

And I was jolted

Shocked

I wanted to turn around and confront her

Who are we to question these

Our sisters and brothers in Christ

The access to resources has been cut off

Just because we have gotten into the comfortable habit

In the midst of celebrations

Not to see

Not to hear

To only be concerned with the superficial

And not allowing the Holy Spirit to peel back layers

To shatter the roadblocks and dams we place upon ourselves

Allowing the gifts of abundance that comes in many forms

To shower those containers lie barren and empty

If we call ourselves Christians,

Doesn’t that mean that we are the voice of Mary,

Perhaps reminding God

Not to forget God’s People

Saying to God

“They have run out of food

They have run out of resources to care for themselves

God, I need the resources

so that I have the opportunity to serve!”

And not,

Just fix it Jesus.

It’s not our problem

Or concern

So fix it Jesus

“They have no more wine,”

Mary turns to Jesus in our Gospel this morning

Not having enough or an abundance of things such as wine

Was a huge faux pas in Jesus’s day

Because being able to share of one’s hospitality freely

Especially when it came to wine,

Was sharing of God’s harvest

Of gladness

Of joy

Of oneself

And one’s home

It was a sign of this communal identity

Not sharing,

Not having enough

Especially for a celebration

Meant that then you were not

Or did not wish to be connected

Bonded with your fellow sisters and brothers in Faith

And so even being guests during this joyous wedding time

Mary turns to her Son,

Knowing who Jesus is-

And wants Him to fix it

Fix it Jesus,

Because you are the only one who can

Fix it so that they won’t be shamed

Embarrassed

Shunned

Fix it Jesus,

Because only you have the power

To give abundantly

To give the gift of life abundantly

We too, call out to Jesus Christ to fix it

Fix it because we don’t have abundant resources

Fix it, because their public pain is invading our private spaces

Fix it, because their public pain makes us shudder,

Uncomfortable

Fearful

Fix it, Jesus right now

Fix it Jesus, because that is your job

Not ours

But when we ask Jesus to fix it,

Do we really understand what we are opening ourselves to?

(pause)

And Jesus turns and in the midst of this celebration

That needs to be perfect

Go off without a hitch

Jesus reminds His Mother

And Us

Of what truly is more important

And at stake in this moment

“Woman, why do you involve me

My hour has not yet come.”

(pause)

These Scriptures

This story of the wedding at Cana

Bothers at my very being

These words, out of place

That this happens on the third day of this wedding

The third day,

On the third day Jesus Christ, the Son of God

Was resurrected

Overturned DEATH

This wedding at Cana

Was to be one of many miracles

Part of Jesus’s outreach

Because of God sending Jesus to be among us

That Mary turns to Her Son whom She knows

Has the power to renew, restore

LIFE

Jesus reminds us that He has indeed come to fix it

Fix us,

But not just temporarily

And not right this moment,

Not the way we perhaps lift up our prayers

Because when we ask Jesus Christ to fix the situation,

Sometimes it means that it gets turned upside down

For the Goodness of God’s will

When we ask Jesus to fix us,

Sometimes it means our whole linear way of thinking,

Walking

Gets shifted

And we find ourselves in places

we didn’t even think we would be

For the Goodness of God’s will

When we ask for Jesus Christ,

To be the Savior of the World

And fix this broken place

Because this world is lost in its own hell

The Good News is that Jesus Christ has come to turn this Creation

This world

Upside down

For God’s Will ALONE.

(pause)

The Good News is staring us in the face,

Because God Loves us,

Jesus Christ has the restoring,

Resurrection POWER

And gives to us Abundantly

We can’t help it

To hear His Word,

And Follow Him!

Thanks Be to God

 

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