Second Sunday after the Epiphany
This is the event that begins it all. Jesus attends a wedding at Cana, likely for a relative, and performs the first of His signs. That vocabulary is important. This isn’t His first miracle. There have been plenty of those, and we just celebrated them in December. Jesus was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the Virgin Mary—a miracle. Aged Zacharias and Elizabeth had a son—a miracle. The wise men were led to the little Boy by a star—a miracle. Even in Jesus’ adulthood He was already performing miracles when He called His first disciples. Though He was nowhere near, He saw Nathaniel under the fig tree. So, while water being changed into wine is certainly a miracle, it is not Jesus’ first.
As Jesus begins His public ministry, He begins it by teaching us to rely on Him for all things, and above all, to remember that the things of this life are secondary to the greatest thing He has come to give, which is our salvation.
Why does the Pastor preach? Scripture explains that the role of preaching the Word of God is how saving faith is created: “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ … So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of Christ” (Romans 10:14-17). The Augsburg Confession, seeing this connection between the Preaching Office and saving faith, summarizes Scripture on the Office of the Holy Ministry in this way: “To obtain [saving, justifying] faith, God instituted the Office of Preaching, giving the Gospel and the Sacraments. Through these, as through means, He gives the Holy Spirit who produces faith, where and when He wills, in those who hear the Gospel. It teaches that we have a gracious God, not through our merit but through Christ’s merit, when we so believe” (AC V 1-3). The whole reason the Pastor preaches is so saving faith can be created, so we know that “we have a gracious God” who loves us and has saved us from our sin by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.