In the Gospel of John, Jesus’ ministry begins with an overflow of an expensive wine. In today’s Gospel lesson, just days before his death, his ministry is confirmed with the outpouring of a costly perfume.
Now many of you are familiar with Jesus’s first miracle. Jesus and his mother Mary are at a wedding feast. A party designed to last a week. Only the wine runs out far too soon. While this may not be the biggest deal for us today (something we might at most roll our eyes at), in this honor-and-shame culture this is a great disgrace.
Jesus, seeing this, decides to act. And he makes a way where there is no way. And when he’s finished what was about to be shame is replaced with honor. For not only is there wine enough to spare, but the best wine has been saved for last.
Now John does not call this act a miracle. He calls it a sign. And he calls it a sign to get us to look beyond the event itself to what it points to. To the overflowing love and grace of God for people so prone to shaming themselves. People like me and you.