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  • Rev. Beverly Kahle

Extravagant Love

This morning’s scripture is John 2.1-11. You might grab your Bible and read it. This is John’ s introduction to Jesus’ ministry and he chooses to do it through an event to which we can all relate – a wedding.

Now, the weddings in Jesus’ time must be somewhat different from ours, because did you catch that – on the third day of the wedding feast (that is what the original text actually says), the wine was gone. I don’t know, but if I were the hosts, I would be thinking it’s about time for everyone to go home so I might be gratefully saying, “Yes, the wine is gone. Now maybe you all will go home!”

This sets the stage for the first of seven signs in John. (You see in John, these miraculous events are called signs as they point to something more). There are all sorts of things that can be pointed out and discussed – the third day reference for one, but what I want us to think about today is the amazing grace and extravagant love that Jesus brings to the ordinary and common to make it into something extraordinary.

After some imploring from his mother regarding the lack of wine, and some hemming and hawing on Jesus’ side, Jesus finally relents, because his mom has asked. He takes ordinary water in jugs that were used for ceremonial washing and he makes it into the most exquisite taste sensation this wine master had ever experienced. Because of his extravagant love and amazing grace, Jesus brought the touch of God into the everyday. He still takes what is common and every day, and through his love and compassion, invites us to experience how extraordinarily good he is.

This is the heart of John; the invitation to experience Jesus. See, feel, touch, taste, hear how much he loves us; how great his grace is. But it doesn’t end with our sensory overload. It isn’t enough that we become addicted to his love and grace, but we are invited, commanded, expected to take that same grace and love that we have received and share it with the world around us.

Mary knew what Jesus could do. As his earthly mother, she had experienced his grace and love first hand. Through her request and prayer and blinding trust, she acted as she told the servants do exactly what Jesus says – no matter how strange or unusual. We, also, are asked to act in similar ways as we invite Jesus into our lives and the lives of those with whom we have contact. By doing so, we pave the way for the extravagant love and grace of Jesus to be experienced not only by us who believe, but the world around us. In so doing, we point to the sign of God’s unfailing love and compassion for this creation.

This week, may we live our lives as signs that point to the extravagant love and grace of Jesus. May we take the time to experience that love and so doing share the exquisite sweetness of being in the presence of Jesus with others. May others taste and see how good Jesus is as they experience the sweetness of our words and deeds in service to the Lord we love. May they hear the gentleness and compassion in our speech as we bring Christ to live in the ordinariness of our lives. May they feel and see Christ’s love as we seek to take those things that could be obstacles and nuisances and instead flavor them with God’s grace.

You see my friends, it is all about taking Jesus and letting our lives reflect him. May you live your ordinary life in such a manner that it becomes transformed into the truly extraordinary as you experience Christ’s extravagant love. May his love fill you so much that it overflows into the lives of others that they see the signs that point to our Lord that they, too, may be transformed. Blessings to you all.

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