So I’ve been engaged in this series of meditations. It’s was inspired by some things that Thomas Moore wrote, and it revolves around the importance and context of Jesus first miracle: turning the water into wine.
Rather than speculating more about things that this transformation might mean, I want to conemplate some features of that passage itself.
One of the things that jumps off the page in this passage is how very embodied, and in the world, Jesus and his followers are. They are at a wedding where– gasp– they serve alchohol. And to make matters worse, it’s a wedding where people drank all the alchohol!
Christianity has become this disembodied thing. There are all kinds of fall out from this perversion. We would do well to remember that Jesus and his disciples were in the community, in the world, having a good time. Jesus’ miracle is a creation of a physical thing. The creation of this thing, the wine, it not only lead to others having a good time, but it saved face for the newlyweds. Dignity and joy are important to Jesus.
And quality is, too. Jesus wine is not just good wine– it’s great wine. So often we Christians settle for “good enough” in the things we create. Christian writing is often mediocre. Christian music is often derivitive. Christian moves are often amateurish.
This all seems wrong in a general sense in that if we’re creating for then Lord of everything, we ought to be doing better than our secular counterparts. But the argument against mediocre art runs even deeper. The very first public miracle is an act of excellence, an act of creating things that are better than what had come before.