Rev. Charles Svendsen
Scripture: Isaiah 62:1-5; John 2:1-11
Pastor Charles' Warmup:
"Time for the Best"
“You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord and a royal diadem in the Land of your God.” Isaiah 62:3
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.”
The word Epiphany means "revelation, manifestation, dawning." We associate Epiphany with the season after Advent and Christmas, when the Gospel was brought to the nations. God in Isaiah's day and in the ministry of Jesus was doing a "new thing."
I met with Pastor Dave Rohde this past Wednesday. Dave and his family will begin a new ministry among the WPC family in late November. Indeed God will be doing a "new thing" among you as Dave begins as only the third Minister/Head of Staff in your almost 50 years.
Accordingly, I've chosen two Epiphany lessons for this Sunday, October 22, 2017 : Isaiah 62:1-5 and John 2:11. The commonality of these two portions of Scripture is simply, yet profoundly, "the incredible generosity of God." In Isaiah, the exiles have now returned to Judea from captivity in Babylon. The writer can't wait to tell us that once forsaken Israel was now a "crown of beauty" and a "royal diadem" in the hand of God. So WPC as you enter a new chapter, God's "new thing" will become in God's hand beautiful...royalty!
In John 2, we will look at the story of Jesus' first miracle in turning water to wine. This spectacular miracle, given to us only in John's Gospel, inaugurates Jesus' three year ministry. Jesus brings the wine of himself, as another and more glorious "new thing" was and is unfolding.
Also, on Sunday we will share in a Service for Wholeness in both services. If you have prayers for yourself or others, you are welcome to come forward after the pastoral prayer for anointing with oil and prayer.
So I look forward to seeing you at 9:30am (traditional) and 11:15am (contemporary) worship. We only have one more Sunday together! :(
For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until her vindication shines out like the dawn, and her salvation like a burning torch. The nations shall see your vindication, and all the kings your glory; and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate; but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the Lord delights in you, and your land shall be married. For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.