James McFaddin, Pastor New Life Church

James McFaddin, Pastor New Life Church

FAITH: Out with the old, in with the new

Castlegar pastor James McFaddin talks about counting the cost

Submitted by James McFaddin, pastor of New Life Church

The first documented miracle performed by Jesus Christ is outlined in the Biblical book of John, and can be found in chapter 2, verses one through twelve. Here it is in summary — it has to do with wine, so pay attention:

“There was a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee, and Jesus’ was there. The host’s wine ran out and Jesus’ mom said to him, “They have no wine!” And Jesus said to her, “What does your concern have to do with me?” His mother, frazzled, turned to the wedding servers and said, “Whatever he says to you, do it!”

Near where they were standing, six thirty-gallon stone jars were there for ceremonial cleansing. Jesus said to the servers, “Fill the water jars with water.” And they filled them to the top. He then said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the head steward.” So they did.

Now when the head steward tasted the water (which had become wine) and did not know where it was from, the head steward summoned the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and whenever they are drunk, the cheap wine comes out — but you have kept the good wine until now!”

If you know wine, you’ll know that it won’t taste very good at all until it has had time to age. How then could this “instant wine” be recognized as noticeably superior to what the hosts were previously serving? In this case, it has to do with the wine maker.

Jesus accomplished a couple things in his first miracle. First of all, he recognized that being out of wine at a wedding celebration was a cultural faux pas. It would have brought incredible dishonour to the family, the wedding party, and would have had societal repercussions for them. Secondly, Jesus took something ordinary (water) and transformed it into something extraordinary that stood out from the crowd.

How does this apply to us today? We can often find ourselves in a position where our actions have caused us to be disconnected from the people around us, and this can happen when we don’t take into proper account the actual effects of our actions — when we don’t count the cost. Just as this family was out of wine because they didn’t account for fullness of the event, so too we can be out of sync with those around us by not accounting for actions. This can bring personal dishonour, but also dishonour upon our families, professions, etc.

Additionally, each one of us desires something more than just waking, eating, sleeping, and dying. There’s a part of us that wants to respond to something beyond ourselves. We want the change, but don’t know how to make it happen on our own.

Jesus deals with these two issues in a single moment. His miracle restored honour when dishonour and embarrassment should have come out ahead. He also takes something ordinary and transforms it into extraordinary!

He can do this with your situation, and with your life, if you let him do whatever he needs to. When we say, “Not my will, but yours be done,” it opens the door for not only restoration, but for transformation! The best part? That transformation has an effect on us, yes, but more than that it has an effect on those around us. With that transformation from old to new, comes a great testimony, which brings about change in the lives of others too. And the very neat part is he can do this outside of time and space, meaning he doesn’t need the aging processes to produce a better wine.

James McFaddin is the pastor of New Life Church in Castlegar.

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