On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. ……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 10and 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.’11Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
On the third day there was a wedding. The third day is resurrection day. After the slog and pain of this day we arrive, we can stop, put down our work, and are released. A wedding is a gathering and a feast and gladness. We stop work, come together and celebrate being together.
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…
Water is changed into wine. But this happens before us in order that we realise that this water is simply being changed back into wine. Water really is wine, but wine toned down for our benefit. Water is a liquid of earth; wine the liquid of heaven. It is heaven that makes earth what it is for us. Whatever is earthly comes from heaven, but is reduced so that that it does not overwhelm us. Everything that is good, comes to us from the holy life of God and is a portion and manifestation of it. Wine is a strong manifestation, and water a weaker manifestation, of that holy life.
There is fullness in heaven, or rather, heaven is simply fullness. It is the self-renewing, replenishing store cupboard, from which supplies come to us as we need them. We learn what they are and what they can do, as we receive them in thanks and as we, in giving thanks for them, pass some token of them back in acknowledgement. Just as if you receive a large package, you tear a strip off it and send this back as your receipt and acknowledgement of what you have received. In all our thanksgiving we are offering acknowledgement of what we have received.
All food and supply and provision arrive on earth from heaven. The completed whole supplies each present instalment to us. The whole supplies the part. Everything does not arrive all at once, for then it would simply be unassimilable by us. We live in a just-in-time system.
Heaven supplies all things to us. There is the fullness and reality of all that is. We send back our thanks for the supplies we receive. And we send back whatever is broken or spoiled or we cannot deal with. All that presently exists in creation is a fragment of a greater reality, the unity of which lies ahead of it. Nevertheless, each thing may be seen as a first instalment, a first fruit, a glimpse or a view of what is coming.
The wedding at Cana prepares us for more metonyms or equivalents:
Wine is blood
Blood is holy life
Fire is holy life
Blood is dilute fire
We learn these signs and symbols from the prophets. John says that this was the first of the signs – that is,wonders or miracles – that the Lord gave us in order to tell us. He tells us what is going on and shows us through these illustrations. We not only hear what he says, but through these signs we see it for ourselves.