On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
How I love a good wedding. It’s a truly joyful thing to see love shining out in people’s lives and to celebrate love and commitment in such a way. Jesus and his family loved a good wedding too, and are happy to join in with the celebrations here in Cana. What a shock though when the wine runs out! It’s going to be very embarrassing to have to explain to the guests that their glasses are not going to be refilled from now on. It will put a huge dampener on the festivities, and no doubt prove a great humiliation for the happy couple.
Thank goodness then for Jesus and His ability to make the wrong things right, and to ensure this happy gathering doesn’t fizzle out into failure just because of a planning mishap. He’s not doing it all by Himself however, and the servants can’t simply stand by whilst Jesus waves a proverbial magic wand over their water jars. God doesn’t work like that. He’s not just our Lord, but also our Friend and Enabler. He loves nothing better than to – in the modern parlance – empower us rather than overpower us. So the servants must take the stone jars and fill them with water first – tough and thirsty work, I imagine – before they can present them to Jesus. When they offer him what they have, no matter how unfit for purpose it actually is (who after all wants to drink water at a wedding? The guests will be furious when they find out!), Jesus accepts their efforts and with His miraculous power makes the water they have offered Him into the best wine it can possibly be. Even the steward – certainly a man who would know the ins and outs of wine – is astonished at the quality. And all’s well that ends well. Not only that, it’s a whole lot better too.
God of miracles, help us to bring You the abilities and talents we have, so that You can turn them into something far greater and more noble than we can ever ask or imagine. Amen.
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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