Saturday, October 4, 2014

They have no wine.....


"On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not  yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast." So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

I've had these verses stuck in my head for days now. Rolling around, giving me time to mull them over. I often pray while I'm driving, not because I'm so sanctified, but rather because I'm a scatterbrain who has a hard time focusing / sitting still when I'm home.  I focus better when I get in the car. As I prayed for this or that situation or person these last few days, this 'water to wine story kept coming to mind. 

First, I love, love that Jesus' mother saw a problem, knew the Solution, and immediately asked him to fix it. I love even more that right after he told her the problem didn't have anything to do with him, he fixed it, plus some. And she knew her kid; she knew he would because after Jesus explained why it wasn't his problem, she immediately gave the servants directions on what to do to help him. Having raised a boy myself, I love this story from that angle. Knowing even Mary didn't raise a boy without being a bit bossy at times makes it easier for me to go to sleep at night with a clear conscious regarding my own mothering days. (Has anyone else ever wondered how she knew he could do miracles at this point?)

I also love that Jesus picked turning water into wine as his first miracle. Did he know, all the way back then, that denominations would be arguing over it til he came back and straightened out all the hullabaloo? I have my own opinions as to whether it was 'fermented' wine or not, but that it's still a hot topic 2000+ years later amuses me. No doubt there are plenty out there who wish he'd turned flour into wedding cake or flower seeds into beautiful blossoms, rather than throw the whole wine thing into the mix. 

I love that Jesus had a regular life, with family get-togethers and celebrations. That he got invited places, and showed up. With all his friends. I wonder if he had any goofy family members, aunts, uncles, brothers, cousins who threw kinks in any gathering. Was there one who was always too loud, or a grouchy complainer, or someone who was late to everything? Was there one who never dressed quite right, brought recycled gifts, or whatever they contributed to the pot luck, everyone knew to stay away? Did he have an aunt who knew his favorite dish and always brought it for him to enjoy? Did he laugh loud at jokes, or even tell a few? Did the kids flock to him, even though he didn't have any of his own? Was there a girl, or two, who kept their eyes on him, always hopeful he'd notice them too? Did he dance? I hope he did. And if they had wedding cake, I bet he enjoyed a slice, or at least the 2000 years ago equivalent of wedding cake. I've never, ever, ever understood anyone who turns down a piece of wedding cake at a wedding. Really? Who does that? 

This wedding at Cana  also makes me think about the whole nature of God. Versus my nature. Or the nature of almost anyone else I know. I know God will take care of my needs. He knows when I'm hungry, tired, sick, discouraged, worried. He'll provide water when I'm thirsty. What's hard for me to grasp is that he takes care of my wants too. And he's happy to do so. Scripture tells me that he came that I might have life, in abundance. That he is the giver of good gifts. Mary didn't tell Jesus the people were thirsty. There was water there to fill that need. Instead she told him the party was still going strong, and there was still much celebrating to be done, so the people needed more wine. 

Two thousand years ago Jesus loved his mother enough to do as she asked.

Two thousand years ago Jesus agreed the party wasn't over. 

Two thousand years after God gave his son for us, why on earth would he hold back on all the rest of the good stuff? We shouldn't be praying that marriages would hold, but rather that they would blossom into what they were always meant to be. Not that businesses would survive, but rather that they would thrive. Not that our kids would learn in school, but rather that they would learn to love learning. Not that the money would stretch far enough, but rather that it would grow ten-fold to be used for noble purposes, and just plain fun. Not that we would beat the disease, but rather that health would be fully restored. Not that churches would be filled, but to overflowing with lives changed as a result. 

The miracle at the wedding at Cana reminds me to be praying, not just for tap water to quench thirst, but for good wine to celebrate life.  

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