It was a Vertical Runner group run day! It was also a rain day!
I guess that makes it a VERTICAL RUNNER GROUP RUN RAIN DAY!!!
Can it get any better than that?! I submit that no, it cannot.
At the start of today’s run I was able to hang out with my buddy Randy and cruise along at a nice 8:54 pace. Then we snuck up to right around an 8:30 pace for the second mile. Tomorrow we plan to run together for a little longer early evening run (to accomplish a goal that he has had for a while). We are planning to be around that 8:30 to 9:00 per mile pace for around 11 miles.
On the third mile we went in separate directions. I wanted to get in a 10k, and Randy really only needed his daily 5k. So as we were running through Christmas Run Park, I took off like a rocket as I went chasing a Strava Segment called “The Bunny Trail”. I was able to get a new Personal Record (beating my previous record by 6 seconds!) on the segment, but sadly I was nowhere near King. I am currently tied for third place overall. (I am tied with my buddy Broc, and he is really fast, so I’m pretty happy with that effort!)
It had only been misting up to that point of the run, but after I got to the top of the hill coming out of Christmas Run Park, it really started raining. I was drenched by the end of the run, but I do love a good rain run.
I ended up with 6.2 miles in 49 minutes and 28 seconds, which was an overall average pace of 7:59 per mile.
I officially have 7 days left of my 5k every day in the month of May, and only 7 days left of running 396 days in a row. I feel like I am coming down the home stretch.
As for the daily Bible reading, I mentioned at the beginning of the Gospel of Luke that I personally prefer reading the Gospel of Luke over the other three Gospels, but I was reminded again today of how much I love John’s Gospel.
the Gospel according to John is so different from the other three. Matthew wanted to show that Jesus was the coming Messiah. Mark masterfully made us aware of Jesus’ intention of ushering in the kingdom of God. Luke labored to let us know that the Gospel is for outsiders, too!
And then there is John.
John brings with his writing a whole new dimension to the life of Jesus. Not only was John one of Jesus’ closest friends, but he was also a very deep thinker. John’s Gospel is arguably the most theologically rich Gospel. John seems to be most interested in establishing Jesus as the eternal God, always existing, and dwelling among us in human flesh. Yes, Jesus was fully man, but John wants us to see that he was also fully God.
John will also spend a lot of time detailing the passion week, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Today we were in John 2-4. Obviously the world-famous John 3:16 was smack-dab in the middle of our reading today, and I love John 3:16, but I would rather focus on something else at the moment.
Okay, let’s be honest… anyone who can turn water into fine wine is pretty cool with me!
Jesus’ first miracle is just plain super cool. It defies logic and science, and it is just plain cool!
I have heard religious people try to explain it away as non-alcoholic wine, which is really funny to me, because that kind of defeats the purpose of the miracle. In trying to keep with their staunch, stoic view of Jesus, they re-write scripture to serve their purposes.
No. It was alcoholic. That was the miracle.
Jesus took ordinary water and transformed it’s physical properties to turn it into fermented grape juice. He is not constrained by time! He is not constrained by science! And he did it for pleasure!
It would have been easy to say, “Well, you fools shouldn’t be drinking, so it’s a good thing that you ran out of wine!” But that’s not what happened.
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” – John 2:1-10
Now, I am not in any way advocating or promoting drunkenness, and I don’t think Jesus was either. Neither do I think that drinking wine (or other alcoholic beverages) is evil (if Jesus did it, then…)
So what was Jesus actually up to, here?
This is what I think the miracle of turning water to wine was really about:
In the Old Testament, wine was seen as a sign of God’s blessing. A plentiful harvest and plentiful wine was symbolic that God was with the people and was blessing the people. Drinking wine was a joyful way to celebrate God’s provision.
In this story, the wine has run dry. Though I believe this is a literal story that literally happened, I also believe that the wine running out was symbolic of the spiritual state of Israel during the time that Jesus walked the earth. The people had largely forgotten about God. Their joy was gone. Their blessing was gone. They no longer cared for God’s provision – they were able to provide for themselves, thank you very much!
Jesus steps into this reality and literally turns water into wine, all the while figuratively and symbolically showing that he was the one who would ultimately restore joy to Israel. He is the blessing from God! Through Jesus, God was once again providing for His people!
In this light, the miracle of turning water into wine becomes so much more. Notice that the wine that Jesus miraculously provided was better than the wine that they had to begin with.
Jesus is better than ANYTHING you think is amazing. Following him brings more joy than you could imagine. He provides EVERYTHING that we need.