It happened quietly and without warning.
One Sunday I was up in the balcony to plug in our Christmas lights before church when I saw someone walking quietly through the empty sanctuary. I recognized her as a young woman who had been attending recently with her two small children. We’d only met recently and then run into each other in the neighborhood, but even by then I knew enough about her to know that times were difficult for her financially. In fact, we’d helped her just a week or so before to help make ends meet because times were tough.
As I began to walk down out of the balcony, though, something happened. I saw her approach the offering box and place something inside. After dropping it in, she walked away and was out of the sanctuary before I descended the stairs. A moment that I only happened by chance to see, but one that felt like an echo of the story of the widow who gives a single coin to the temple. A moment where Jesus tells the disciples “Look! This is what charity and extravagance looks like. It’s not flashy or loud, but is instead a quiet gift that means so much to the one who gives it.”
It was a moment just like that. The type of moment where Jesus would point and say “Look! You need to watch for and notice these moments because this is what glory looks like.” Jesus is telling us that glory is actually not big or dramatic always, but more often than not it’s quiet, humble and the sort of thing you might miss if you’re not watching for it. It’s not hidden or private, but it is certainly quiet.
In our Scripture passage for this week, the point is made that we too may miss a similar moment if we’re not watching for it. This week we read the story of Jesus at the wedding at Cana when he turns water into wine. And while it certainly is a great miracle story, the strangeness of it comes when we realize we don’t actually see the moment when the water changes, and in a similar way most of the people at the wedding also don’t even notice that anything has even happened. It’s Jesus’ first miracle and yet, it happens so quietly and subtly that most of the people who are there miss that it’s even happened at all.
There are those who notice though. Those who get the opportunity to see the moment and result of quiet glory. Mary, Jesus’ mother, and his disciples see and then believe, and on Sunday we will be invited to do the same thing. To gather prayerfully and to watch as blessed people for the quiet glory of the risen Christ all around us. We’ll see you on Sunday and if you’d like to read the Scripture passage in advance you can find it here: http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=John+2:1-11
Rev Brent Ross grew up loving the Twilight Zone and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. For better or worse both of these things enter into writing his sermons every week.