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.
After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they remained there a few days.
This is a familiar story of Christ’s first miracle. Much has been written about its meaning and interpretation. Who do you identify with in the story? The bewildered servants? The thirsty, but grateful guests? The perplexed wine steward? The faithful apostles? The harried bridal party? Or impatient Jesus? Perhaps, like me, you see yourself as Mary, the nagging mother?
People who know me, know I’m a planner, a detail-oriented organizer, who knows how to feed a crowd. One of my callings at church is to head up the funeral luncheon crews. I encourage volunteers, who give of their time to serve at these times. I watch over the flow of the crowd and ensure everyone is served in a timely manner. I’ve been doing this “job” for about two years and have enjoyed serving families in their time of grief.
But it is not grief to me. It is a joy! I have learned not to worry about the amount of food and drinks. There always seems to be enough and then some! So many times, I open the refrigerator and look at what we have to feed the crowd and wonder, ”Will there be enough?” I can understand Mary’s concern with running out of a necessary portion of the repast. She had a secret ace up her sleeve. She could play the MOTHER card. Mary knew Jesus could do it; he just needed some nudging, some encouragement.
And what is the end result? The wedding party is happy, the guests are over-joyed, the disciples have witnessed their first miracle, Jesus is a hero and Mary is a proud mama! Joy is restored!
I hope the families we serve find peace in gathering and being supported by family and friends. The family and friends get to break bread together, sharing a story or two. The luncheon workers get the satisfaction of serving, being God’s hands. And me, I am the proud mama that sees everyone coming together to celebrate life and death, to find joy in the promise of life eternal.
Dear Lord, Be with us in our time of loss, and our times of joy. Restore our hearts with your peace. Fill our lives with people who lift us up and hold us close. Thank you for always providing enough, Amen.
Written by Cindy Swanson
Cindy and her husband, Ray, have been members of Sheridan Lutheran Church since 1978. They have 3 sons, Ben, Andrew and Patrick who were confirmed at Sheridan. They enjoy spending time with their 4 grandchildren (ages 2-7). Cindy retired from teaching writing to middle schoolers for Lincoln Public Schools in 2014. She savors a good cup of coffee, a well-written book, a lively discussion and chocolate. She lives near a cemetery and knows each day is a gift!