Saturday, May 9, 2009
The Tale of the Wedding at Cana
I am reading a new book by Thomas Moore, Writing in the Sand..Jesus and the Soul of the Gospels. So far, it is amazing! He introduces the wedding at Cana, which is usually referred to as the first of Jesus' miracles, as the "resonant" event in the gospels and the key to the message Jesus was trying to convey to humankind! Kingdom (of heaven) living requires a shift in vision and this story of changing special water reserved for rites of purification into wine is a metaphor for this change. He changes the idea of spirituality from a life of purifying water to a life of intoxicating vitality. I'll include the following excerpt because I could never say it as well although I added the words in parenthesis...
"Our tendency toward being virtuous and pure, especially those of us being raised in religious families, is changed radically in the life and teachings of Jesus. Instead of striving for purity and innocence (water), we aim for vitality and pleasure (wine), a life of joyous intimacy with friends, family, and neighbors (wedding). Instead of living under obligation and defining ourselves by hard work, we could appreciate the importance of pleasure. We could see that the flat ordinary life is like plain water, while the spiritually alive life in real community is more like wine"
Jesus was torn apart, crucified and rose again just as grapes are crushed and rise as wine. This is the essence of Jesus teaching...to live a transformed life by looking at the world with a new vision and find heaven on Earth! A hundred sermons could be preached from this story at Cana. In fact, Moore goes on to say that one must consider Cana when considering the last supper because "the full mystery of Jesus' teaching would be incomplete without it."
He also uses Noncanonical gospel passages which really intrigues me. The idea that men left out stories to fit their notion of what was important is proof positive for the need for individual thought and imagination when considering the Bible! I can't wait to read more!
This song is a favorite and I am thrilled about including it here! The lyrics fit pretty darn well too!