On the Third Day


On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.
– John 2:1-2

On the Third Day,
Cana is bustling with preparations.
Family members scurry in their ready-making,
dancing the chaotic choreography
of joyful celebrations and cousins twice removed.

The house is in order;
and food for the feast boils in expectation.
But are they ready?
Can they anticipate it?
Can they truly know?
That at your Mother’s convincing,
You will come alive,
choreographing this feast, as you
convert life-giving water into life-giving wine?

Stepping into your identity,
You surprise them with grace, and
You show them your very first sign.

And then!
Cana’s celebration becomes a living crescendo,
creating a whirlwind dance of God among the people.
Bread broken,
Disciples healing,
Words spoken,
Lepers leaping.

All included,
All embraced,
All empowered.

But —
the leaders in power,
Were they ready?
Could they anticipate it?
Could they truly know?
That at the Spirit’s convincing,
the people would come alive,
choreographing the feast you initiated,
all people,
all empowered,
sharing your life-giving body and life-giving wine?

They were not ready.
They could not anticipate it.
They could not tolerate it.
They could not let it live.

So at your humble convincing,
We see love displayed,
We see power outpoured
as you love fervently from a cross,
Death consuming the very body that is offered sour wine. . .

Until the Third Day comes again.

Renee Roederer

I am grateful for the reflections of the Rev. Rob McCoy and the Rev. Eric Fistler this week on the Pulpit Fiction Podcast. They influenced the ideas behind this poem. These two pastors noted that the second chapter of John starts with the phrase, “On the third day.” It serves as a hint to the resurrection story of Jesus. They also noted that the symbol of wine seems to bookend portions of the beginning and ending of John’s Gospel. The abundant wine at the wedding in Cana is Jesus’ first sign to the people, and toward the end of the gospel, Jesus receives sour wine to quench his thirst as he is dying on the cross.

[1] I found this image on the Saint John Bosco Parish website.

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