January 08, 2005

Water into Wine

My experience with this story is memorable as part of my introduction to what is sometimes referred to as estoric reading of the Bible.
I was led into this mode by a very small book by Maurice Nicoll entitled The New Man.

Some words have special metaphoric connotations and are found over and over in the Bible: three such words are stone, water and fire. (In this story wine serves as an alternative term for fire or spirit.)

Look in your concordance for any of these three words. Checking them out will give you pause for wonderment.

Look for example at Elijah's contest with the 400 prophets of Baal. 1st Kings 18:17 ff: to end a terrible drought Elijah confounds the prophets of Baal. In the story you find a stone altar, water (first no water, then floods of water) and fire.)

Transform the fire to wine and the Wedding of Cana proves to be a similar story. We have stone waterpots, water put into them, and turned to wine.

Both stories have a similar (esoteric) meaning:
Stone represents the lowest level of spiritual consciousness,
Water represents an awakening to the Way. (We'll hear more about this miraculous water in John: in chapter Three we'll hear about being born of water, and still later more about life giving water.
Wine points toward the fire that broke out on the Day of Pentecost.

So we have description of three spiritual levels: the stony "unborn", born of water, and born of the Holy Spirit and fire (also called the New Wine). As David said, John referred to this as a sign. To me it seems like a sign of the spiritual movement in God's people about to take place.

An understanding of this kind of symbology did a lot to renew my interest in the Bible and in the life of the spirit.


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