Griffith Lutheran Church
1000 North Broad Street | Griffith, IN, 46319 | 219-838-1626

Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.

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A Few Words from Pastor Scales...

January 17th, 2016
2 Epiphany
Isaiah 62: 1-5; Psalm 36: 5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; John 2: 1-11

Some of you are aware I have a menagerie in my home of cats and a dog.  I live in the country and over time my collection has grown with various discarded kittens and cats. The first of November this year, a neighbor down the street was behind a car that stopped and someone in the car tossed out a mother cat and her kittens into the woods and then drove off.  Several days later, my neighbor across the street was driving home and saw something in the road, she thought was a black sock.  Her car straddled it.  She then looked in her rear view mirror and noticed the sock looked like it may be a kitten.  She stopped the car, got out, and sure enough it was a small, shivering kitten, barely a month old.  She picked it up and cuddled it trying to get it warm. But rather than turning into her driveway as she got home, she turned into mine. 

​The kitten’s eyes were closed shut with matter; her little tummy was protruding, but you could feel the bones in her back and shoulders. I made her a warm bed and found a syringe from previous pet medications and gave her some diluted cat food.

​Next day, I took her to the vet where her eyes were treated and she began her vaccinations and other medications to rid her of various diseases she had acquired already in her very short life.
​My neighbor called me the next day or soand asked how the kitten was and apologized for dumping her on me.  She said, “Have you named her yet?” I said, “No”.  She said, “I think you ought to name her ‘Grace’”.  So Grace she is.

​Why did she think I should name her “Grace”? One of the commentaries that I read in relation to today’s gospel begins, “So this is what grace looks like”, referring to Jesus turning the water into wine.  Jesus did not just turn water into wine for the ending hours of the wedding celebration, he provided enough wine to last weeks on end and he provided the best of the best of wines.

​Why did my neighbor want me to call the new little kitten, Grace?  First of all, she believed she was saved by grace. Second of all she knew that the grace of abundance would be what she would receive when I took her into my home. My neighbor knew that this little kitten would live the life of a princess if I would accept her.

​Showing God’s grace of abundance is how Jesus begins his ministry. He went to a wedding; they ran out of wine.  Jesus could have taken one of the jars, had it filled with water and turned that one jar into wine which would have satisfied the wedding guests for the rest of the evening, just like my neighbor could have saved the kitten and simply placed her in a barn out of harms way. 
But, just as God’s grace through my neighbor and me gave the kitten a safe and comfortable home with love and care forever without end, God’s grace, through Jesus did not fill just one jar, but had all the jars filled with water to the brim and turned all of it into wine, so much so it probably lasted for months.  In fact, because the jars were filled to the brim, thewine probably was pouring out all over the place. Extravagance is in order when it comes to the grace of God.  Not only was there more wine than could be consumed but the wine was the best of the best, shocking the wine steward that the bridegroom had left the best wine for the last. Jesus starts from the get go letting people know that God is not cheap and stingy.  From then on, all throughout his life, Jesusshowed God’s grace through extravagance, through abundance.  The five thousand needed to be fed. Jesus started with five loaves and two fishes. Not only did he feed the five thousand with five loaves and two fishes but he ended up with twelve baskets of left overs.  Jesus did not just bless the sick and pray for them, he healed the them. Jesus did not just cry for the dead, he raised the dead. Jesus did not just touch a blind man’s eyes and say a prayer, he made the blind man see; he did not just pass his hand over the ears of a deaf man, he made the deaf man hear. God sent Jesus here on this earth so we may experience God, God’s love for us, God’s abundant grace given to us.  God wanted us to experience God’s grace and we did through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

​God just did not give us life here on this earth, just so we can die and be buried. God gave us God’s own self in Jesus to live with us and to die with us and to be buried in a tomb as we are buried in the ground. But the extravagance of God’s grace did more than just come here and live with us and die with us. We read in the book of Romans, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.”

​How much more extravagant could God’s grace get, than for us, you and me, to be united with Jesus and with each other in a resurrection just like the resurrection of Jesus? What more could we ask for?

​Amen,
​Pastor Scales

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Grace

“Grace”