#2 His Handiwork...notice science
Keon-Young and Jon’s Bridal Shower
by Meg Tillman
by Meg Tillman
Last week, after I got home from church I put on my hiking shoes, put the leash on the dog, and headed outside for a long walk. It had been an emotional week and I needed to think. I hadn’t yet made it to the end of our driveway and it started to snow. Not exactly what I had hoped for, I must admit. I wanted to think about today, and how to shower you both with love and blessings as you look forward to your wedding day. I wasn’t really excited about walking in the snow, but I kept going.
It dawned on me after a block or two, that the snow was really quite beautiful. Big, wet snowflakes fluttering down, some flakes hitting the ground and immediately melting on the warm pavement, others never quite making it to the ground at all, but becoming a wisp of water vapor in mid air instead. Being a science teacher I notice these things, and started to think about water. Pure, ordinary water is really quite extraordinary. It is a simple compound, as I teach my middle school students, only three atoms, two hydrogen atoms chemically bonded to a single atom of oxygen. Hydrogen, an explosive gas on its own, and oxygen a flammable element together yield H2O. Water is a compound, a pure substance, and not a mixture an important distinction in the context of my of seventh grade science curriculum. But water, as common as it is, is really quite amazing!
For instance water is cohesive; it sticks to itself easily, as evidenced in a drop of rain. It also demonstrates the property of adhesion; it sticks to other things, which allows it to spread out into a puddle on the sidewalk. It has a great deal of surface tension, water striders find this quite important for their life on top of the pond water. It is called the universal solvent, because so many substances easily dissolve into liquid water. These substances move and slide around in between the water molecules with great ease, and seem to disappear in the solution and become one with the water. But they aren’t part of the water and can precipitate out and leave the water as they found it, pure molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. And of course water can change its physical state, as evidenced by my walk in the snow shower last Sunday. Water is very unique in this way, an unusual substance that naturally exists as a flowing liquid, a crystalline solid, and a gas, all at temperatures we experience everyday on this planet. Water is truly extraordinary.
So back to my walk, I am thinking about a wedding, a marriage and what to say to the two of you. Jesus attended a wedding feast; in fact it was the site of the first of many miracles He performed. Now maybe it wasn’t the first of His miracles, but it is the first recorded in the Gospel of John, in chapter 2. He attended this wedding with his family, His mom was there, and His disciples. His mother comes to Him; the host has run out of wine. We don’t know for sure, but this wedding celebration may have been a family member or very close family friend according to commentaries. Running out of wine would be extremely embarrassing and bring dishonor on the family. Mary decides Jesus needs to know this detail. What will He do?
You probably know the story well. There are six stone jars, usually used for water for ceremonial washing. Jesus instructs the servants to fill them to the brim with ordinary, pure water. Each probably held 20 to 30 gallons. Immediately the servants are instructed by Jesus again to draw some of the liquid out and present it to the master of the banquet. The master has no idea where it came from, but is shocked at the quality of the wine; it is the best that has been served. Usually the best is served first, how extravagant of the bridegroom.
What does this all mean? I’m no theologian, but perhaps Jesus chooses this setting because a Christian wedding is a miracle in itself. Each of you comes to the altar, as a uniquely created, extraordinary person, a person created in the very image and likeness of God. You choose to make vows before God, before your family and friends to love and cherish the other. You come as a pure substance, like water. A substance that has had other substances dissolved into you, and then precipitated out from you. A substance that has found a way to stick together, to be cohesive and not fall apart in the midst of life’s challenges, and yet at the same time to adhere to others and situations and flow, pouring yourself out into the world you live in. And finally, as a pure substance that has gone through both wonderful and tough experiences as water changes form from liquid, to vapor, to solid. God creates us, gives us our DNA. He has been there from the moment you took your first breath, and knows the events that have shaped you and brought you to one another. And on May 1st the two of you, two beautiful pure substances become one. One plus one equals one, it is not mathematically correct, it is a miracle. And the water becomes wine, not Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joe’s, but the finest of all wines.