Saint Mark Daily Advent Devotional – December 30, 2014
by Betsy Allen
Scripture: John 4:46-54
Were I writing a resurrection story, I would use excessive capitalization and punctuation. I doubt I would double-check my grammar, let alone use transition words.
When John opens the narrative of Jesus’ second sign – bringing a child back from death’s door – John not only refrains from using caps lock but he also pens one of the most boring “hook sentences” ever. Paraphrased, John writes, “Then Jesus went back to a place he’d already been that’s only worth mentioning because of the thing he did the first time he was there.” In twenty-first century words, “In 2015, we’ll go back to places we’ve already been that are only worth mentioning because of the things we’ve already done.” No offense to John, but this is monotonous and depressing; it is not a great way to preface anything, let alone a miracle or the coming year.
Perhaps there is more to John’s opening sentence. Maybe, instead of simply orienting Jesus geographically and chronologically, John underscores Jesus’ return to Cana with deeper purpose. Although Jesus has already been to Cana and performed a sign there, he returns. Jesus is not done with Cana; he comes again with healing and patient love, sharing his second wonder with those who didn’t see or believe the first. Although we also have already heard Jesus’ story, he is not done with us. His healing and love return again and again in our hearts and lives.
Prayer: Faithful God, let Jesus’ message come again to us, just as it did to Cana. In this coming year, let us not return to physical, emotional, and spiritual places only worth mentioning because of the things we’ve already done. Instead, help us cultivate love and healing throughout our lives and in the lives of others. Amen.