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Retired archaeologist and governmental tree-hugger. I'm a: United Methodist lay pulpit supply preacher; semi-professional photographer; and poet.

Friday, January 15, 2016

AT A GARDEN PARTY




The big event in the village that day was the wedding. After months of scrimping and days of primping, the family laid out a welcoming feast for their guests. Mary came from Nazareth to celebrate with the couple their new life together. She brought her son as her date, and he brought his wild friends - who doesn't like a good party?

In fact, so many people came that the family ran out of wine before the party wrapped up - what a disaster! People would think that they were poor, that they couldn't plan, that they were cheap, or worse of all, that they were not generous and hospitable hosts! It would be an evil omen - the first event of their marriage was a disaster. As a mother, Mary understood these things.

She leaned over to her son: "They've run out of wine."

"What can I do Mom? This isn't the time for me to be showing off."

His mother answered him by turning to the server behind her: "Follow my boy's instructions, and it will all turn out OK."

Jesus saw the massive stone jars of sacred water set aside for ritual purification - 180 gallons. "Top the jars up," he told the server. After all, who can argue with a Jewish mother?

When this was done, Jesus directed the server to draw some of it for the event's head wine-steward to sample. His eyes lit up! He shouted across the room to the bridegroom: "Everyone else would have served the better wines at the beginning, and then the cheap swill after everyone was drunk. But you, you followed the good wine with exquisite wine! I toast you and your family for your outrageous hospitality. Blessings upon blessings to your union!"

And so, a family became famous and beloved in their hometown, and Jesus' real nature was revealed to a lone unknown and unnamed server at a raucous party.

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