The last Sunday in the Epiphany season focused on the Wedding at Cana (John 2 v 1-11). For those not used to 'church language'; Epiphany means 'revealing' or 'manifestation', its the time when we think about how the scriptures reveal Jesus as the 'Messiah', the anointed one of God. In this story, it is the miracle (or sign) of water being transformed into wine that reveals the glory of God and helps those who witnessed it to recognise Jesus as a holy one chosen by God.
Even for those who find the idea of a supernatural event (a miracle) difficult to accept, perhaps the story of water into wine can be seen as representing the importance of transformation as a foundational part of our faith. If we do not believe things can change, then our spiritual growth will be stunted.
The small group discussions began, prompted by the question 'What is the most subversive thing Jesus does in the story?'
For some, it was his rude treatment of his mother (referred to as 'woman'), for others it was that he does not seem to be in as much control of his life as you would expect from a son of God!
Others picked up on Jesus' use of the use of stone jars, that should have been used for Jewish purification rituals, not for wine used to get drunk! One group talked of the revelation coming to the 'servants' who fill the jars - that God reveals himself first to those considered lowly (similar to the shepherds at Jesus' birth, and the fisher folk at the beginning of Jesus' ministry)
The focus on change and transformation moved us on to prayer. In front of us was a blanket and newspapers, symbolising those forced to sleep rough around the world.
Lord, let us believe all things can be transformed; from dictatorships to freedom in Egypt; from homelessness to decent housing provision in the UK.