The nine-week season between Christmas and Lent in the Church year is called Epiphany. It begins with a celebration of the Epiphany on January 6, which is recognition of the Magi from the East who followed the star seeking the young Jesus.
Epiphany is the revelation that from the beginning of His life, Jesus has been for all people everywhere, including the stranger.
It is often the stranger that is attuned to her thirst, not satisfied to quench it with anything less than Living Water. As Patty said so well, “Thirsty souls long for truths that satisfied souls ignore.”
The Magi arrived with limited information. Not until Jerusalem did they encounter the writings and prophecies that confirmed what they sensed.
Thirst is a sense.
It’s a sense that’s heightened and developed by being foreign. So, we Velvet Ashes are poised to get thirsty. That’s a gift.
Because becoming alien lands us squarely in the company of Christ’s favorites – the poor, disabled, minority students, beggars, children, women, sinners, servants, migrant workers.
The Gospel reading for today from The Book of Common Prayer is the account of when Jesus turns water into wine. Lauren Winner writes about loving the Scriptures in her newest book, Wearing God. Quoting rabbi Ben Bag Bag she writes, “Turn it and turn it, for everything is in it. Look deeply into it, and grow old with it, and spend time over it, and do not stir from it, because there is no greater portion. Turn it and turn it—there is always more to see.”
When I turn this story of water and wine, I see past Jesus at the beginning of his ministry, and the disciples who have just begun to follow Him. I look around Mary and her holy gumption. I see over the bridal couple, the host, and tipsy guests. When I turn this one enough, I finally see the servants.
The servants followed orders from Jesus who obeyed Mary, and filled the pots designated for ceremonial washing full to the brim with water. They are the ones in the parentheses when the host wonders how quality control got reversed.
(But the servants who had drawn the water knew.)
These are favored ones, attending and observing Jesus work. They look to the hand of their Master.
It’s not comfortable to be in that company, to be thirsty. We get squirmy. But having become kin with other disenfranchised, we are no longer free just to walk away when our numbers get called up.
When influence is gained in places that affirm women in leadership and develop them, or when resettled in a neighborhood where one’s race and class are the norm. We squirm there, too, because we have kin that are still thirsty.
Pay attention. Turn it and turn it. You’ll see them everywhere, these favored ones – the migrant bussing the table, the teammate shifting in his seat, the child stumbling to keep up, in great hymns, all over the Scriptures.
And in the mirror. Pay attention to the thirst for justice inside you, and get curious about it.
Maybe it’ll lead to epiphany.
What is your favorite Jesus story? What do you see when you turn it again?
Then join us at The Grove. It’s where we all gather to share our thoughts, our words, and our art on our weekly prompt. So join us in the comments. Show us your art work by adding an image. And link up your own blog posts on this week’s prompt. Click here for details and instructions.
 Matthew 2:4-6
 John 2:1-12
 John 2:9
 Psalm 123:2