Archive for the ‘Tom Key’ Tag

Then There is Jesus   Leave a comment

Above:  The Miracle at Cana

Image in the Public Domain

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For the Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year 2

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Lectionary from A Book of Worship for Free Churches (The General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches in the United States, 1948)

Collect from The Book of Worship (Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1947)

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O God, the Father of all truth and grace, who has called us out of darkness

into marvelous light by the glorious gospel of Thy Son;

grant unto us power, we beseech Thee, to walk worthy of this vocation,

with all lowliness and meekness, endeavoring to keep

the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace;

that we may have our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.

The Book of Worship (1947), 127

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Deuteronomy 18:15-22

Psalm 36

1 Corinthians 1:1-17

John 2:1-11

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And Jesus made a potion coming from that faucet that kept the party going until four o’clock in the morning.

–Tom Key and Russell Treyz, Cotton Patch Gospel (1982), 29

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That is the conclusion to a modern, colloquial retelling of an ancient miracle story that has embarrassed many Temperance-minded Protestants for centuries.

A story that may or may not be true speaks of that embarrassment.

In the late 1800s or early 1900s, a female orator on the lecture circuit of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) visited a certain town.  She made her standard remarks at the appointed time and place.  Then she asked if anyone had questions.  A young man raised his hand, and she called on him.  He asked,

If what you say is true, how do you explain Jesus turning water into wine?

The orator answered,

I would like him better if he had not done that.

This miracle story, like the rest of the Gospel of John, is theologically profound, with layers of meaning.  I focus on one aspect of that miracle in this post.  There is x, then there is Jesus.  He provides the really good stuff.  Jesus is the really good stuff.

There were prophets, then there was Jesus.  There are prophets, then there is Jesus.  There are religious figures, then there is Jesus.

Your mercy, LORD, reaches to heaven,

your truth to the clouds.

Your righteousness is like God’s mountains;

your justice like the great deep.

Both human and animal you save, O LORD.

–Psalm 36:6-7, The Revised New Jerusalem Bible (2019)

That mercy, truth, righteousness, and justice reside in Jesus.  They reside in him even when he embarrasses us by not fitting into our theological boxes.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

DECEMBER 6, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT

THE EIGHTH DAY OF ADVENT

THE FEAST OF SAINT NICHOLAS OF MYRA, BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM OF KRATIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND HERMIT

THE FEAST OF ALICE FREEMAN PALMER, U.S. EDUCATOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF HENRY USTICK ONDERDONK, EPISCOPAL BISHOP, LITURGIST, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF PHILIP AND DANIEL BERRIGAN, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND SOCIAL ACTIVISTS

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