Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bags of Mostly Water

(John 2:1-11)

My favorite hip-hop group (yes, I have a favorite hip-hop group) is the Dream Warriors. I haven’t heard much from them recently so I don’t think they are performing. They had a song called, “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style,” which borrowed liberally from the theme song of the Canadian game show Definitions (hosted by Jim Perry). The song was, by the way, written by Jazz great Quincy Jones and called, “Soul Bossa Nova.” In the Dream Worries’ version they call humans, “bags of mostly water.” They sing, “bags of mostly water/search to find… my definition.”

Bags of mostly water, is an apt description of the human being. We are, after all, made up of mostly water. Without water we would die in about a week. In scripture, water therefore is symbolic of life. It is also symbolic of cleansing, but the principle image is that of life.

Wine, on the other hand, is symbolic of joy. In Isaiah 25: 6-9 for example it says, “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.” Isaiah means to suggest that the mountain is eternity with God, the food is satisfaction and the wine is joy. And the reading goes on to say that death, the best joy-defeater of all, will itself be destroyed. Tears will be wiped away and we will be glad and rejoice because of the salvation God offers us.

Sooo, metaphorically, at the wedding feast, Jesus takes these vessels (bags) of mostly water and fills them with wine (joy). “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95.2)

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