Jun 23, 2008

Not Just Another Summer Wedding

It’s summertime. A time for weddings, a time of making promises, setting goals, and symbolizing these through the wedding traditions passed from generation to generation.
It was a wedding where Jesus began his public ministry. It seemed almost coincidental, almost a bit of luck that put his true identity on display, but it wasn’t. It was so beautifully orchestrated, my tiny mind can’t grasp all the spiritual significance packed in that small event. Jesus began his ministry physically demonstrating the idea of replacing old with new. He began with a very symbolic picture of God’s grace and glory, freely given, in abundance, to the kosher, and later to the not-so-kosher (that would be me).
I was reading John 2: 1-11, the wedding story. As a mother of an adult son, I read this from a different perspective than ever before. I thought about the knowledge and intuition between a parent and an adult son or daughter. As a parent, I often think, “I know you. I know what you’re thinking. I know where you are headed.” So I wonder. . . When did Mary first realize exactly where Jesus was headed? Oh, she knew who he was. In fact, she was the only human being who could know beyond doubt, based on scientific human evidence, that this was indeed the Son of God. She had to be full of awe, mystery, humility, shock, uncertainty. . . what else . . . about his physical future. She knew the prophecies, she knew this was the Messiah, but when did her mama’s heart truly grasp where her son was headed?
In hindsight, we see many implications of Jesus’ ministry right here in this first public demonstration. Jesus foreshadowed the cross, the act of discipleship, the imagery of marriage and abundance of wine as prophesied in Is. 25:6, Jer. 31:12, Amos 9:13,14. Christ is the good wine come to replace the old. Looking back, we see all that and more. Common thought holds that his mother didn’t see all that in this wedding conversation. But I wonder, did she? I think she knew more than commonly credited to her.
What I see is a wedding that ran out of wine. How embarrassing, what a failure, what a shortcoming, what an oversight. I see Mary, the mother of Jesus, thinking hard. I see Jesus’ mother come over and sit down beside him. Perhaps she leaned over, nudged Jesus with her elbow, and quietly said, “They have no wine.” Considering with whom she was speaking, that was a loaded sentence. She probably held her gaze on him to see his response. She knew something here. She knew he could do something about this.
Perhaps Jesus, the son, leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest, stretching his legs out in front of him. Perhaps he looked her in the eyes as he said, “My time has not yet come.” Like that would be the end of it. I can see Mary, a mother, possibly nod once or twice, thinking: “right.” Or I can imagine maybe she raised her eyebrows as if to say “Oh, really” to her son as so many mothers today would do.
Mary said nothing more to her son, she simply turned back to the servants and told them, “Do whatever he tells you” and she probably walked away. Her job was done. She knew her son. She knew what he could do. She knew it was his responsibility to choose what to do, to listen to His Father’s direction. He later said “My Father is always at His work and I, too, am working.” John 15:17.
I see this conversation filled with basic human tendencies as well as the spiritual implications for which it was intended.
Maybe it’s my mama’s heart in overgear. ??


Anonymous said...

That's probably where you got your great legs!! Loved the photo but know someone who won't. Did truly enjoy your "devotional" though that was great.

JMaslar said...

You have no shame!

Dettao said...

Wow, what a great perspective on being a mother. I am in awe at your thought process.