I usually am not a fan of attending weddings. Maybe it is just an allergic reaction to my own… a loooooong drawn out affair, filled with great pomp and symbolism. I bet there was more than one person sitting there who thought, “Really? Dude, just say ‘I do’ and get it over with already.” And then the reception, held in a beautifully restored mansion… a beautiful setting…. except it was the beginning of August and the restoration didn’t include an air conditioner. Stifling heat inside AND outside.
So as I read the second chapter of John, the other day, I think I had an understanding of the thoughts of Jesus when his mother and friends attended a wedding to which they had been invited. Although Jewish weddings seem to be more fun than the Gentile, Christian affairs… or maybe that was just MY wedding…. Anyway, if the media travel brochures are true, Jewish weddings look a lot like a party. There is communal singing and dancing and drinking and eating and…. celebrating! The wedding is a community celebration of young love and the growth of the extended family. Children will come from this union, which means God’s family will continue to grow! That certainly is something to celebrate!
However, a problem comes up in the wedding Jesus was attending…. They run out of wine. How embarrassing. That’s like throwing a Super Bowl party and your TV picture goes out, so you have to listen to the game without the picture… So Jesus mother does what any self-respecting Jewish mother would do, she goes to her son…
“Soo… They have no more wine….” I can just hear the yiddish lilt in her voice that makes the statement not just a statement but a strong suggestion to her son to take action. I imagine Jesus’ head turning skyward and his eyes rolling… How many times had she spoken to him in just this fashion. A smile crosses his mouth and then a deep belly laugh. He looks at her with twinkling eyes and says, “Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.”
Since Mary expected Jesus to act, she prepared the way for him… like any good mother. She approached the servants who were keeping the festivities supplied, and said, “Do whatever he tells you to do…,” accentuated with a nod towards Jesus. Near where they were sitting, were six huge clay jars which were used to hold water for ceremonial cleansing of the guests and family. They each could hold 20 to 30 gallons of water. Jesus directed the servants to fill all 6 jars with water, and then draw some out and take it to the man in charge of the banquet. When the servants did as Jesus had instructed, the water had become wine. It was such good wine, that the banquet boss took the groom aside and said, “Are you crazy? You saved the best wine to last! Nobody does that. Most people drink the good stuff first until everyone is so drunk, they can’t tell the difference, and THEN they bring out the ripple… but you have saved the best for the end!”
As I finished the story, I heard a small voice deep within:
“What if this story were your life?”
Immediately I understood the implication of the question. What if God chose to save the best of my life for the end of my life?
And I trust Him to do it…