Second Sunday After the Epiphany (C) - John 2:1-11
The Wedding at Cana traditionally thought of as the beginning of Jesus’ public ministry. It comes right at the beginning of John’s Gospel, though he’s the only one who tells the story, and John even calls it, “The first of [Jesus’] signs.” As far as signs, go, though, it’s a rather strange one. Throughout the Gospels, Jesus performs all kinds of miracles. He heals lepers, and helps a blind man see. He ceases the flow of blood for a hemorrhaging woman, and raises a little girl from the dead. He calms a storm that threatens to drown his disciples, and multiplies bread for a crowd of hungry people. He helps people. He heals people. But here, as Jesus’ ministry is just getting started, what does he do to reveal his glory? Jesus is at a party, and when they run out of wine, he makes more. He keeps the party going. Exactly what kind of a miracle is that?
Second Sunday of Christmas (C) - Sirach 24:1-12
In some parts of the Jewish tradition, the scriptural text is believed to be truly holy, in and of itself. That means that when a Bible gets old, torn and tattered and weathered by use, it can’t just be thrown away. It needs to be treated with dignity and respect, loved and cherished for the holy thing that it is. Copies of the Bible—particularly Torah scrolls of the kind used in synagogues—are collected together in a particular place, and when a certain quantity is gathered together, they are buried with ceremony and ritual. For some Jewish communities, this has extended to anything that quotes the Bible, too. Or is about the Bible. Or is Bible-like. Or hints at God. Or is written in Hebrew, the language of the Bible. Or… well, you get the idea. The documents are collected together in a place called a “genizah,” a room for storage until they can be permanently committed to burial in the ground.