Jesus’ first public miracle was turning water into wine (John 2:1–11). That seems like a puzzling choice, perhaps, for a first miracle. It’s not exactly on par with healing diseases or raising people from the dead, and it doesn’t seem to jibe with Jesus’ announcement that he had come to bring good news to the poor, proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and let the oppressed go free (Luke 4:14–21). Rescuing a wedding celebration just seems so much less important than Jesus’ other miracles. They say first impressions matter, though, so maybe we should look deeper to see what this coming-out miracle might have revealed about Jesus and God’s kingdom.
I’m sure there is much to say about this event, but I’ve held onto one observation my pastor offered that is both simple and beautiful: God’s kingdom is one of abundance.
There is truth in these words, yet it’s sometimes hard to line up this picture of abundance with what we know of the world. There are close to a billion seriously hungry people in our world, and one out of every six children in developing countries is underweight because of lack of nutrition. Around the world, 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty, scraping by on less than $1.25 a day. Mothers and fathers around the world are working hard and still struggle to put food on the table for their families.
Clearly, there are far too many people in our world who don’t have enough.
Still, there is this promise of a Kingdom of Enough. And even in the face of discouraging statistics and gut-wrenching reality, there are glimpses of this kingdom.
These glimpses shine through as members of the Body of Christ around the world find practical ways to introduce their neighbors to God’s abundant kingdom. In Musana, Zimbabwe, widows started a small farm to feed their own children and orphaned children in their community. In Bangladesh, self-help groups are empowering women to change the future for their families. And in Nashville, Tennessee, USA, university students are helping create gardens in an urban food desert.
Around the world, churches and communities are cultivating hope. Together, they’re ushering in God’s Kingdom of Enough. On earth as it is in heaven.