Water into Wine and People into Saints

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • October 24, 2014
I slipped into my robe and adjusted the stole that has a blue cross with two gold rings embroidered into the white linen cloth. I glanced again at the service of marriage folded carefully into the Bible. It marked the passage in I Corinthians 13 which I will be reading for the gathered people. We stood in place -- the groom and best man and me -- waiting for the music to play "Canon in D." We walked into the sanctuary on cue and took our place at the altar. A half dozen handsome young men dressed in tuxedos walked to the altar, winked at the groom and took their stance facing forward. They were followed by six gorgeous girls attired in dresses designed to accent the feminine. I quietly thanked the Almighty for the best seat in the house. She enters the vestibule from my left. The look on the faces of bridesmaids and groomsmen and groom and minister indicate that the bride is present. She is as stunning as she is young. She has dreamed of and imagined this moment since she was a girl in braces. She has spent the last year of her life planning every detail with her mother, along with friends from high school and college. She is on her father's arm. He is lost in a swirl of emotions, wondering where the time went and what's going to happen to this little girl who has grown up too fast. There is a quiet and pregnant pause before the organist strikes the stirring sound of the "Trumpet Voluntary." She starts down the aisle towards her groom. Everyone rises. Angels lean over the banister of heaven remembering that the Lord's first miracle happened on a day like this one. I remind myself that I shouldn't cry. This is what life is all about, and everyone knows it. This is why Christ came from heaven to live and teach and admonish. This is why we read Bibles and say prayers and receive communion and offerings. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee, says John. He can and will and does turn the young and naïve into pillars of strength and wisdom, which is the greater miracle by far. The littered landscape of broken hearts and broken vows is the clearest evidence that every marriage needs him present. He waits, too, at the altar where bride and groom stand exchanging words and promises. He is there ready and able to change water into wine and people into saints, if asked. The church exists for this sacred moment. The church exists to prepare people to live together in love and affection and perfect harmony until the day they die. The church exists to teach and inspire the several virtues -- patience, kindness, forgiveness and humility among them -- that enable people to share themselves in a lifelong gladness that is deep and real. It can happen. For their sake and the sake of their children, for our sake and for God's sake, we work and pray that it does.