Monday, January 28, 2008

the wedding at Cana

Yesterday, as all you nu-liturgical types will well know, was the fourth (and last) Sunday of the Epiphany season.

The Wedding at Cana is a traditional mainstay of the Epiphany Season and although it wasn't the 'official' gospel text for yesterday (not this year anyway) we went ahead and used it anyway.

Epiphany is all about the disclosing of Christ's true identity. And so it contains stories that illustrate this - like Christ's baptism etc. And the Wedding at Cana fits because it's the first miracle. I suggested, though, that it was an important story not just because it's Christ's first miracle but because of what it reveals of God. The kind of God that God is. A God who knows how to party, who loves festivity and celebration.

So we spent a lot of the gathering talking about joy - the difference between joy and happiness (joy is an internal state independent of circumstances, happiness seems to be connected to the external), how we can cultivate more joy and festivity etc. particularly as the church seems to have largely forgotten.

We framed the service with the gospel story and also passed around drinks, in cups like the one pictured above (in case you can't see it there is a quote on one side from Barbara Ehrenreich's fascinating book - 'Dancing in the Streets: A History of Collective Joy' - which says "Christianity is a danced religion"). We began - fittingly enough - with water, then grape juice a little while later, then red wine, then champagne (at the peace) and then finally communion wine as we celebrated our participation in that which brings us into fulness of life - our communion with Christ in death and resurrection.

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