My faith journey is bound up in my parent’s own journey as they planted deep roots in church when I was a small child. Church became a second home to me as my parents became involved in so many ministries within our church: teaching classes, participating in music programs, serving, and worshipping. But when I look back, truth be told, I believe my real journey began with a large piece of white felt.
Oh, the memories I could share of all the Bible stories told using the FLANNEL GRAPH!! With little effort, I am catapulted back to my Sunday School days and can still see Bible stories come to life, one piece at a time with felt-backed pictures placed up on an easel. I can “see” the story of the little boy who shared his lunch that ended up feeding thousands. I can “see” the lame fellow lowered through the roof of someone’s home and placed at the feet of Jesus. It was so exciting to see our teacher often times putting Jesus at the center of the white cloth and one by one having others join him as the story would unfold before our eyes. God gave me a tremendous gift that from a small child, my heart held little doubt and I was able to fully embrace the truth and veracity of the stories and truths found in the Bible.
Have you ever read a verse or story from the Bible that mesmerized you to the point where you can’t get it out of your head? A place in the Bible that so captivated you, like a song, you can’t stop thinking about it? Well….
Recently, my life group has been working through the video series The Chosen. Our progress has been a bit slow but WOW, we have had some pretty terrific discussions as we allow our imaginations, along with scripture, to study and discover the life of Jesus. It’s been a rich and rewarding journey as we see the dramatization of the world in which Jesus lived. I was pretty surprised when we reached episode six, the wedding at Cana, and was stopped in my spiritual tracks. I found myself enthralled and fascinated by what Jesus did at the wedding. (I’m guessing I have been talking a lot about Jesus turning water into wine lately. I had that realization come to me when I received a drinking glass that had etched on its side: “Jesus touched my water.”)
When I found myself spiritually stalled, it wasn’t because of any doubt or unbelief of what He did while there. I can honestly say, as if a great flannel graph is in front of me, I know Jesus calmed a storm. He walked on water. He fed thousands of people. He raised the dead. He healed a leper. He turned water into wine. But for some reason, like never before, this wedding feast, made the stories of Jesus really personal.
Again, like a song that loops round and round in my mind, what Jesus did by turning water into wine, took every single beloved story of our Savior’s ministry and bundled them all together in a spiritual treasure that unlocked corners of my heart that I really didn’t know were locked. I couldn’t let go of what Jesus did at the wedding and what it revealed to me. Jesus’s power and authority over nature.
Jesus’s power and authority over time.
Jesus’s power and authority over culture.
Jesus’s power and authority over religious norms and traditions.
and the list goes on…
As if for the first time, I wasn’t an observer or outsider but a true participant joining in the wedding celebration and like the disciples, I identified with the words found in John 2:11.
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.
There’s a song written by Phil Cross whose lyrics really sum this all up for me:
To be there when the Savior spoke a great commandPhil Cross • Miracle in Me
or to witness and wonder from His wonder-making hands.
No miracle has caught my eyes to cause my heart to see
But by faith I know I can realize there’s a miracle in me.
I have never seen the thousands fed or the blind made to see.
I have never watched Him raise the dead but I know when He lifted me.
There’s a wonder right before my eyes, close enough to see,
In my heart is where this wonder lies – There’s a miracle in me.
Because of Jesus, I know I am water and He is turning my life into His wine.