In Lectionary Meditations

Mary was basically chomping at the bit. Her Son, Jesus, had been invited to a wedding in the hill country of Galilee, and He hadn’t come alone. No, Jesus had brought His disciples with Him. And so Mary has put two and two together. Now, finally, her Son would start off this whole Messiah thing!

When the wine runs out (which would have been most embarrassing), Mary just casually notes to Jesus that they are out. Almost the way might mom might note that the trash can was full or that my room was messy. There’s the problem – go fix it. Go to it, Son! Go and be the Messiah. Oh, the might and glory and the power that we’ll see! Yet, Jesus tells her that His time hasn’t come, that now isn’t the full moment of glory. Still, Mary hopes. “Do whatever He tells you,” she says to the servants.

And then she sits and waits to see. But, then again, what does she see? The miracle isn’t obvious. No one at the party notices. Neither the master of the feast nor the bridegroom know what is going on. The guests may never have noticed. Only the servants (and probably the disciples who would have been following Jesus) knew what happened, and even they couldn’t pin down exactly when the water became wine. There’s no big hullabaloo, no big flash of lightning or peal of thunder announcing this miracle. Just a party that doesn’t have to end early anymore.

John tells us that this is how Jesus manifests His glory. The glory of God doesn’t (usually) show up with neon signs or trumpets. It isn’t even normally accompanied by anything that the world would recognize as a miracle. Yet even in some of the most simple things – someone preaching the Word, a bit of water and the Word in Baptism, some bread and wine now also His Body and Blood – Jesus continues to manifest His glory. And because He does, we receive eternal life. We are forgiven, and whatever comes down the pike this week, our joy in Christ isn’t crushed. We know that we will rise, that we will have life in His name, that we will be headed to the feast that never ends, the eternal party of the life of the world to come. And there, nothing will ever run out, for Jesus is a great host.

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