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                             St Clement Church Epiphany 2 Service

 

A warm welcome to you all on this the second Sunday after Epiphany.                                           This is the service that we will be following at St Clement Church this morning.                         So, join with us as we offer our prayers and praises to God.

 With love                                                                                                                                                          Liz                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Let us pray

We welcome everything that comes to us today because we know it’s for our healing.                                                                                                                                                     We welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons, situations and conditions.                                                                                                                                                      We let go of our desire for power and control.                                                                                           We let go of our desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure.                                                     We let go of our desire for survival and security.                                                                                   We let go of our desire to change any situation, condition, person or ourselves.                             We open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within.

Amen

Hymn:    353   Dear Lord and Father of mankind

A prayer of Penitence

Seek the Lord while he may be found                                                                                                 and call upon him while he is near.

Let the wicked abandon their ways                                                                                                      and the unrighteous their thoughts.

Turn back to the Lord, who will have mercy;                                                                                      to our God who will richly pardon.

Lord God                                                                                                                                                          we have sinned against you.                                                                                                                      We have done evil in your sight.                                                                                                              We are sorry and repent.                                                                                                                             Have mercy on us according to your love.                                                                                                 Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.                                                                   Renew a right spirit within us                                                                                                                     and restore us to the joy of your salvation                                                                                            through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                                                                                                  

Amen

Let us pray the Collect for Epiphany 2

Almighty God, in Christ you make all things new: transform the poverty of our nature by the riches of your grace, and in the renewal of our lives make known your heavenly glory; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.                                                                                                                                

Amen

Readings

Isaiah 62. 1 - 5                                                                                                                             1 Corinthians 12. 1 - 11                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Hymn: 200   Jesus call us! O’er the tumult

Gospel of John 2. 1 - 11

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.                                                                                                         

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord

(This is the Gospel of our Lord. Response: ‘Praise to you, O Lord’)

 

There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.                                                            When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’                                 And Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.’                                                                                                            His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’                                                             Now standing there were six stone water-jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.                                                                             Jesus said to them, ‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them to the brim.          He said to them, ‘Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.’                                          So, they took it.                                                                                                                                            When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, ‘Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.’                                                                                                  Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana in Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

(This is the Gospel of our Lord      Response:    Praise to you, O Christ)                                                                                                         

Reflection

Today’s Gospel reading is a very well-known story and many people would say that ‘The turning of water into wine’ is the first of Jesus’ miracles, but John doesn’t use the word ‘miracle’ but rather the word, ‘sign.’ Why?

Well, if we look at this story, we can see that there are three key points that the apostle John makes about this event.                                                                                                     1) This is the first sign that Jesus performs. John doesn’t call this a miracle, but a sign because a sign is different from a miracle in that the ‘supernatural’ event performed is to be a distinguishing mark or indication for something.                                                                                                                                                          Think about how road signs represent various actions; from parking, to yielding, to stopping. A green traffic light is the sign telling a driver to proceed across or through a junction. So, John is telling us to examine this event. This is an event with a deeper meaning. There is a message to this sign and this is the first sign that Jesus performs.                                                                                                                          2) Verse 11 tells us that this sign revealed Jesus’ glory. This sign unveils Jesus to our eyes so that we may believe that He is the Christ, the Son of God.                                                  3) The sign has its intended effect. Verse 11 records that Jesus’ disciples believed in Him. The disciples see the sign, the glory of Jesus as the Son of God is revealed, and the disciples believe.

So, let’s look at the story. Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding in Cana, about 9 miles from Nazareth. Jesus’ mother, Mary, is also there.                                               The problem is: the wine runs out! Now we might not see this as a big deal – it’s a bit embarrassing, but not that big a problem. Well, for us no, as our wedding receptions last a few hours, but, this wedding and reception would typically last a week. Wedding banquets are prepared for many guests, and the week is spent celebrating the new life of the married couple. Often the whole town is invited and it is considered an insult to refuse a wedding invitation. Also, wine is the primary drink at this time. It is not only an enormous social disgrace to not provide wine, but wine is an important staple drink. So, this is not a mild inconvenience. People do not get in cars and go home early. They are staying for the week and have come from various distances. This is a ‘huge’ problem.

One could write a lengthy sermon on the words that Jesus says to his mother when she tells him the problem – don’t worry, I won’t – suffice to say, Jesus is saying that this is not their joint concern, this is his … hence, Mary understands that He will do something and so tells the servants to do exactly as he tells them.                                                                                                                                                                   He also says, ‘my hour has not yet come.’ Jesus is bound by the will of the Father. This phrase occurs ten times in this Gospel. Jesus is saying that this is not the time for Him to reveal His full Messianic glory. Jesus describes His death on the cross as His hour when He will be glorified. So, in this story, it is only the disciples and the servants who know what Jesus has done, no one else. Jesus is operating on God’s timetable and not according to any human schedules.

So, what is the real sign in the story that Jesus performs?                                                                                There are six stone water jars for Jewish purification. This water is not for drinking. These jars are for the ceremonial washing. According to Jewish ceremonial laws, people become ritually unclean by touching objects of everyday life. So, before eating, according to their traditions, they would pour water over their hands to cleanse them from any defiling. They would also wash their cups, pitchers and utensils with this water.                                                                                              Jesus orders the servants to fill the jars with water and then draw some off and take it to the master of the feast. The master tastes the wine and recognises that it is better than what they had before.

The wedding has no wine. First century Judaism is pictured as being separated from God and no longer receiving God’s blessings and favour. The wine has run out. The Jewish nation is spiritually barren.

Secondly, Jesus eliminates the purification jars. The people can no longer ceremonially wash themselves because the jars now contain wine. The time for ritual cleansing is over. Jesus brings purification. Cleansing comes through Jesus. Purification is found in the Lamb of God, not in these washings.

Third, Jesus brings the blessings of God. The wine has run out. The Jewish nation is spiritually barren, pictured as separated from God. Jesus restores the blessings to the nation. Jesus is the fountain of wine flowing to the people.

Fourth, Jesus brings wine that is better than what the people had before. This is superior wine. The blessings that have come with Jesus are greater and better than the blessings ever experienced before. What Jesus offers is far better than what the people ever had.

Fifth, Jesus brings the wine in abundance. Everyone points out the staggering amount of wine that was produced, 120 – 180 gallons, which is far too much for a wedding feast, even if it lasts for a week. Jesus offers abundant, overflowing grace of the kingdom, more than was ever before.

The old ways are challenged by the coming of Jesus. Jesus did not come to tidy up the old system or put a bandage on the Law of Moses. Jesus provides new wine that vastly surpasses anything that contemporary Judaism could afford, and renders obsolete the stone jars of purification. The Messiah, God’s greatest blessing, has arrived.                                                                                                                               Jesus comes with a new way and a new system.                                                                                           Jesus comes to change people, offering radical change, pouring out abundant grace.

This is why John calls this story - ‘Jesus’ first sign’ and not his first miracle as it has so much to teach us.                       Amen                                                                                                                                       

 

Affirmation of our Faith

Do you believe and trust in God the Father?                                                                                 We believe in God, the Father almighty,                                                                                                      creator of heaven and earth. 

Do you believe and trust in his Son Jesus Christ?                                                                                                                                       We believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,                                                                               who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,                                                                                                      born of the Virgin Mary,                                                                                                                               suffered under Pontius Pilate,                                                                                                                      was crucified, died, and was buried;                                                                                                           he descended to the dead.                                                                                                                          On the third day he rose again;                                                                                                                          he ascended into heaven,                                                                                                                               he is seated at the right hand of the Father,                                                                                            and he will come to judge the living and the dead.   

Do you believe and trust in the Holy Spirit?                                                                                    We believe in the Holy Spirit,                                                                                                                    the holy catholic Church,                                                                                                                             the communion of saints,                                                                                                                            the forgiveness of sins,                                                                                                                                 the resurrection of the body,                                                                                                                     and the life everlasting.                                                                                                                   

Amen

Hymn:  390   Jesus where’er thy people meet

Intercessions

Gracious God, your Son Jesus began his ministry at a wedding celebration and through the miracle of the wine showed us the abundance of your wonderful love for us. May Jesus continue to transform the water of our everyday lives into the new wine of your kingdom on earth, transforming by his love the ordinary into the extra-ordinary.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                            Lord, graciously hear us

Holy God, we thank you for the blessing of marriage. May those so blessed grow old together in the knowledge that the best wine is saved till last and that Jesus is their companion on their journey through life together.                                                                                                                        

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                              Lord, graciously hear us

Father God, we pray for our world and the problems faced by so many of your children. We pray for all who live under the threat of war and terrorism and the poverty which comes in its wake. Govern the hearts and minds of all world leaders and those in authority that they may act justly, honestly and according to your will.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

Father God, we pray for those we know who will be married during the coming year; be with them as they make their plans and give them patience and understanding when things are difficult. In their growing love for each other may they come to know you as the source of all love and help them to rejoice in their shared memories of joy and laughter, sadness and disappointment.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                 Lord, graciously hear us

Loving God, we pray for those who have rejected you because they are ill and blame you for their afflictions. Help them to see the reality of your desire of wholeness and health for them. Enable all who are sick to pray for themselves and to give thanks for those who care for them.                                                                                    We especially pray for Ken and Diane, Daphne and Dave, Ollie, Margaret and all those who have no one to pray for them.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                                   Lord, graciously hear us

Mighty God, through your Son you have freed us from the grip of the tomb. We pray for those who have departed this life and ask you, through your loving kindness, to have mercy on their souls. We pray too for all those saddened by their passing.

Lord, hear us                                                                                                                                  Lord, graciously hear us

Faithful God, as we go out into the world, we pray that we may reflect your love in our families, our church and our community; so that the world can witness that we are followers of Christ and draw others into his loving care

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Amen

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us.

Our Father who art in heaven,                                                                                                      hallowed be thy name:                                                                                                                         thy kingdom come;                                                                                                                            thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.                                                                                        Give us this day our daily bread.                                                                                                  And forgive us our trespasses                                                                                                     as we forgive those who trespass against us.                                                                                   And lead us not into temptation                                                                                                   but deliver us from evil.                                                                                                                For thine is the kingdom,                                                                                                                the power and the glory,                                                                                                              for ever and ever.                                                                                                                                Amen.

 

He'll turn your water into wine   by Katie J. Figueroa

He'll turn your water into wine                                                                                                            Like grapes crushed from the vine.                                                                                                         You’ll be pressed through a process of time,                                                                               So he can shine.                                                                                                                            He’ll turn your water into wine.

It’s no more me, but Jesus you’ll see                                                                                                        He turned my water into wine.                                                                                                               So, He can shine!                                                                                                                                    He’ll turn your water into wine.

Healing rivers you will find.                                                                                                                  You’ll be refined.                                                                                                                                 He’ll renew your mind.                                                                                                                           He’ll turn your water into wine.

 

The Peace

God will speak peace to his people,                                                                                                  to those who turn to him in their hearts.                                                                                                  The peace of the Lord be always with you.

Amen

 

Hymn:  393 Lead us heavenly Father, lead us

 

Blessing

Let us go forth into the world in peace and dedicated to Your service, O Lord.                           Let us hold fast to that which is good, render to no person evil for evil, strengthen the faint-hearted, support the weak, help the needy and the afflicted, and honour all people.                                                                                                                    Let us love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of His Spirit.                                                                               And may God’s blessing be upon us and remain with us always.

Amen

                                                                                                                                                                 

 


Page last updated: 14th January 2022 8:52 AM