What wine is this?
Continuing on the theme of weddings, with reference to arguably the most famous and wonderful wedding of all time: the one which our Lord Jesus attended in Cana of Galilee (John chapter 2, verses 1-11).
It was here at last – her Big Day. The day she had been waiting for since she was a wee girl. The day she had been anticipating since his parents had had a meeting with her parents. The day she would become a woman, and a wife.
Everything was perfect. The house was decorated. The tables were groaning under the sheer weight of food. The many special dishes had been prepared by an army of relatives, friends and servants. All the guests had arrived.
Her parents looked proud. Her younger sisters looked envious. Her older sisters looked as if they knew something she didn’t yet know. Her brothers – well her brothers were just the same as ever.
The ceremony itself was behind them. She was a married woman. She would be moving into her in-laws’ house. She wondered how long it would be before she be a mother. A boy first, she prayed silently, and then a girl, and then, Lord, I’ll leave it up to you.
She looked out over the assembled company. Here were represented all aspects of her life:
Ø - her grandparents, her uncles and aunts and cousins, her nephews and nieces
Ø - the older servants who had seen her grow up
Ø - the girls she had played with, and the boys he had played with
The banquet was well under way. Compliments about the food were flowing thick and fast, as was the wine, as was the conversation.
After the formalities of the earlier part of the day, everyone was beginning to relax.
Suddenly her eye was caught by what seemed like a slightly hostile encounter between Mary and her son Jesus. If it had been Miriam and her son Joshua, she wouldn’t have been surprised, but the relationship between Mary and Jesus was normally distinguished by its complete harmony.
Her piece said, Mary spoke briefly to a couple of the servants and returned to her place. The bride watched as the servants refilled the water jars and then took a sample to the chief steward. After tasting it, he approached her husband and said something which Mary couldn’t hear – but from the expression on the steward’s face it was a compliment, and from the expression on her husband’s face it didn’t make sense.
After all the planning for her Big Day, the bride would never know that the greatest thing which happened was not born of her own careful organisation.
The Son of God himself had blessed her marriage by turning ordinary water for washing into vintage wine for celebrating.
In doing so, he “revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him.”
Let’s take a moment to pray:
Generous and Compassionate God
You spare us embarrassment
You give us more than we need, or deserve
You astonish us with your power
And so we praise you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit
To you be the glory now and for ever; Amen