Friday, October 28, 2011

Water into Wine

After receiving a postcard advertising a retreat near me, I went to the internet to research the speaker. Her name sounded familiar...Kelly Minter...It was on her website that I stumbled upon her book, Water into Wine.

Over summer a friend and I met every Thursday to study the gospel of John. We went chapter by chapter and listened in on Louie Giglio's messages (The Word series). An ember was kindled in my heart in my personal study of the miracle in Chapter 2 where Jesus turns the water into wine. (John 2:1-12) I continue to mull over the fact that the stone water jars were "the kind used by Jews for ceremonial washing" (John 2:6) which to them would be part of their method of preparation for entering the presence of God. (Psalm 26:6)

In the story, there is a crisis of sorts when there is no more wine for the guests at the wedding. Prompted by His mother to fix this problem, Jesus has the servants bring the jars to Him full of water, and as you probably know, he miraculously transforms the water into wine. When this miracle is tasted, it is found to be superior to what had already been served (John 2:10).

Reflecting further on wine as part of our communion with Jesus, our remembrance of His life-giving-that-we-might-really-live gift; and that He is the New Covenant Wine that we drink. (1 Corinthians 11:24-26) 

By-His-blood we enter into the presence of God now and there is no need to wash our hands any longer, because He washes our hearts. 

Did you know that alcohol enters directly into the blood stream where life is? (Leviticus 17:14)

...Is there a mystery (or three) hidden in this story?...Perhaps Jesus was saying to those who would see, "The first wine is inferior (the wine of the Old Covenant); the ceremonial washing is now obsolete as a means of approaching God. I am giving you a new and superior way of entering the presence of God. I am the New Wine. When you drink of the new wine, you are clean inside your heart, the place where life's blood is."

Perhaps too, there is a second message in this story. A rather obvious one if you see the first message. Washing with water is an exterior event that must be done over and over again. The receiving of Jesus inside of us, into our very life-blood, brings about a permanent transformation. New blood, so-to-speak.

This stokes my fire! You can imagine why I purchased the book "Water to Wine...Hope for the Miraculous in the Struggle of the mundane" by Kelly Minter... I wanted to know, 'What did God show her? Does she have any other insights into that first wondrous miracle that Jesus performed?' ...and I am not disappointed! 

True to my suspicion, in the first chapter Kelly reveals things that I had not considered from the story. The water represents a "mundane" or "a usual, easy-to-come by element", and the wine (by way of the miraculous transformation of the water, not the crush-grapes-ferment-over-time process)...the wine represents the result of the touch of Jesus on the mundane offerings we are asked to bring to Him (mainly, and first-of-all, ourselves!)

The mundane when brought to Jesus...miraculously becomes a divinely-empowered, life-giving, into-relationship-with-God element. 

"Intimate friendship with God is the true wine." ~Kelly Minter

Communion means fellowship or friendship. What has He really given us that we miss in the day to day living? There is so much more to be discovered!!! I am not halfway through the book yet, and the light keeps shining brighter. Join me for some Wine? You can purchase the book here: Water to Wine


Ladybug said...

Beautiful... Longing to have a
Christain close by to study the
Bible and all the goodness once again..
You are so have such
a percious friend in the Lord...
So enjoy your Blog it's freshing

Warm Blessings...

Denise J. Hughes said...

I have another study by Minter. I didn't know about "Water To Wine." Thanks! I'll have to get it.

Denise J. Hughes said...

I have another book by Minter. I didn't know about "Water to Wine" though. Thanks! I'll have to get it.

Blessings to you.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Kathy... would this work as a Bible study? I'm looking for something to do with a small group in the spring, so my ears are perked for recommendations.

I love this story as well--a first public miracle that would serve as a foundation for all the rest. There's so much there! I'd love to dig for it. I'll check it out.