The Upper Room devotional reflection for Monday, December 27, 2021 comes to us from Adam Benson of North Carolina.
1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there,
2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. 8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” 11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples. There they stayed for a few days.
John 2:1-12 NIV
While hiking deep in the woods of Yosemite National Park we had become lost, and with dusk approaching we had no clue how to get back to our tent. We would have asked directions, but we hadn’t seen any other hikers. This told us that we must be pretty far off any regularly used path. We were feeling frustrated and fearful when finally we saw a wooden sign with an arrow that read, “Yosemite Valley, 2.4 miles.” With a surge of energy and relief, we raced back to our campsite in the valley.
Signs and signals are everywhere in life: directional signs on trails, caution signs on the roads, alerts on our phones, or indicator lights in our cars. The purpose of any sign is to alert us to something beyond the sign itself. In John’s Gospel, Jesus’ miracles are called signs, and the first is in Cana at a wedding. The party has run out of wine but Jesus turns large vats of water into the best wine. When we saw the wooden sign on our hike we felt joy, not because of the sign itself but because we now knew how to get back to our campsite. When Jesus changes water into wine, the best part of this story is not the miracle itself; it’s what the sign points to – salvation through Christ. And we don’t have to hike miles to get to Christ. When we call out in faith, he will answer.
I invite you to reflect about signs of God’s gracious, unconditional love that you find on your life’s journey. Are there miracles that confirm your faith? Perhaps there are magnificent views of God’s creative environment that might even take your breath away. Are there acts of kindness that remind you that God is working in and through each of us? What signs do you find that God is present all around you, blessing you, and leading you into a faithful life?
Dear God, thank you for the signs that point the way to you. Help us to follow you faithfully. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Jesus’ miracles point us to salvation.