Saturday, August 15, 2009

Amethyst and The First Miracle

Amethyst is the official birthstone for February as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. Throughout history amethyst has been used to guard against drunkenness and is thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction. It has been used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches and other pain. Some sources suggest it is used to stabilize mental disorders. The Greek work "amethystos" basically can be translated as "not drunken." Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, which is why wine goblets were often carved from it. The gemstone is still a symbol in modern day circles who celebrate sobriety. Every folklore and legend about amethyst is centered around wine or the elements of wine.

Whenever I am working with amethyst at The Karat Patch in Big Spring, Texas I often think about the first miracle Jesus performed. When Jesus turned water into wine (John 2:1-11) He didn't just perform a miracle, He gave us a picture of what we can be if we have Him as our Savior.
In the account of the miracle, there were stone jars of water used for "ceremonial washing" as guests entered the wedding party at Cana in Galilee. When the wine ran out at the party, Jesus' mother Mary called Jesus to take notice. Jesus had some folks fill the pots to the brim (which already contained 20-30 gallons of "ceremonial washing" liquid, i.e. bathwater), then had them take some of the liquid to the head-waiter who upon tasting, declared that the (now) wine was of the highest quality. One might even say that the head-waiter had discovered a treasure in these stone pots. Jesus restored their joy by changing what was in the stone pots.

And that is what I refer to as the 'picture' of what WE are when we have Jesus Christ as our Savior. A simple stone pot (or jar of clay)...with a treasure inside (2Chronicles 4:7). Even if we have filled our lives to the brim with all manner of dirty, disgusting things, once we accept Jesus as our Savior He changes all that into something wonderful and joyful...something that anyone would want a 'taste' of. We become earthen vessels with the Grace, Hope, Salvation and person of Jesus Christ inside of us, ready to be shared with a world that has run out of joy.
It's the same with His creation too. In the beginning, He created the earth, and just under the crust of it we can find beautiful gems like amethyst...a treasure inside an earthen vessel.

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