Two thousand years ago the greatest revolutionary that ever lived walked on the earth. His name was Jesus Christ. He lived in a religious community of Jews where traditions of the law were manifest in every aspect of everyday life. At the start of his revolution, the people of Palestine must have thought he was mad because he did not preach the laws of the Moses. To the dismay of the Pharisees and Sadducees, he began to preach a strange doctrine that ‘the Kingdom of God was at hand’ and that he was ‘the way, the truth and the life.’
It was after his first miracle of turning water into wine that multitudes of people began to follow him. Jesus, his mother Mary and some of his disciples attended a wedding in Cana of Galilee. The most embarrassing situation occurred as there was not enough wine for everyone. One can imagine the embarrassment of the bride, the groom, their parents and the host of the wedding as well as imagine that whenever people saw the newly-weds together in the future, that this would be the first thing that would come to mind. Mary intervened on behalf of the wedding host and told Jesus about the problem. Jesus then miraculously changed six barrels of water into wine.
It was to prevent embarrassment that Jesus changed water into wine. Throughout his ministry not only did he do good deeds; he provided the needs of the people. He was just the start of the revolution and it took 3 years for his physical part in the revolution to be accomplished. The revolution did not die when he was crucified. Like a phoenix from the ashes of his death, it arose with his resurrection and grew and 2000 years later, the church that was built on the foundation of the Christ is still growing and providing the needs of the people.
What does this have to do with Barbados? It appears that the revolution that was started by Christ has come to a grinding halt in Barbados. The church has been silent throughout the last 8 years of social, economic and political disaster in Barbados. Isn’t it the role of the church to carry on Christ’s the revolution where he responded to the needs of the people? One wonders if the church still considers itself part of Christ’s revolution or if it is solely concerned with some of the traditions of men.
The most embarrassing situation to have occurred in Barbados in the 21st Century is on display in the parish of St. Joseph where people cannot get a drop of water from their taps. There was no hurricane, no tornado, no eruption of a volcano or a tidal wave to herald this onslaught. Yet for months the people of St. Joseph cannot get water to bathe, to brush their teeth, to cook, to wash their clothes; things that people in the other parishes are taking for granted. It is the height of human misery and the church has been silent. It has not said a word or brought water to quench thirst so one can hardly expect to see water being turned to wine.
We all know how valuable water is for life and the quality of life. Perhaps the church in Barbados does not understand what Jesus meant when he told the woman who he met at the well in Samaria that he was the ‘water of life.’
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” – John 4:13-14 (NIV translation). How can the Church profess to have the water of life yet remain silent when physical water is lacking to fulfil the basic needs in the lives of the people?
The people in St Joseph are not in need of wine, only water. The length and breadth of Barbados including the Church should be embarrassed that this situation is occurring in 2016 and press the government not for a temporary solution but a solution that is sustainable. 2000 years ago in Palestine, Jesus gave his life for a cause of supplying the physical and spiritual needs of mankind. To the church in Barbados, what will it take for you to take up this cross which now has a cause of providing water for the people of St Joseph? One is not asking the Church to give up the lives of any of its members but only to help provide water and raise its voice to preserve life and the quality of life to all residents of St. Joseph.