A Wedding

This week’s Monday School comes from the Gospel of John chapter 2 verses 1-12. Read more about Monday School here.

John tells the story about a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The Bible says Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there and that Jesus and his disciples were invited too. But there was a problem at the wedding.

They ran out of wine.

Mary is remarkably concerned about the wine situation because I believe she was more than a guest at this wedding. Perhaps she was close to the bride and groom and their families. Maybe she helped prepare for the wedding…..may have planned and cooked the feast for it. Maybe she and others gathered the flowers, set the places at the tables and made sure everything was just so. Then, in the middle of the festivities, the wine was gone.

Mary did the only thing she knew to do. She told Jesus. Then told the servants to do whatever Jesus said.

I think I know what Mary felt during the wedding at Cana. My oldest daughter was married this weekend. We prepared and worked to make everything just so and we wanted everything to be as wonderful as we planned it to be. Those of us who helped were remarkably aware of everything – the weather, the flowers and music, the food, drinks, and the cake. We wanted the bride and groom to have no worries. We wanted the guests to have no need or distractions and to fully enjoy the celebration of two lives becoming one. To take in the music played and the promises made. To understand why the bride and groom chose You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham as one of their wedding songs. To grasp the meaning of the entire festivity.

Because a wedding is no small thing.

As Frederick Buechner puts it, “…every wedding is a dream, and every word that is spoken there means more than it says, and every gesture – the clasping of hands, the giving of rings – is rich with mystery. Part of the mystery is that Christ is there as he was in Cana once, and the joy of a wedding, and maybe even sometimes the tears, are a miracle that he works.”

We enjoyed the words and the gestures and we felt the love and blessings. We laughed and cried and danced. We celebrated the miracle of two becoming one and Jesus was with us at our wedding celebration at Glenn Hill.

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing….
You’re beautiful

by Phil Wickham

Remember the Leftovers

I say if I’d been there to see the miracle of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish that I’d follow him faithfully and never doubt anything he said. I would surely never question his promises after seeing him feed another crowd of 4,000 with seven loaves and a few small fish.

But then I read Mark 8:14-21.

Jesus is warning his disciples to watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod. Before Jesus explains, the disciples discuss among themselves that they brought only one loaf of bread on the boat and this must be why Jesus is talking about yeast.

Jesus asks, “Why are you talking about bread?”

That’s not the only question Jesus asks.

Do you not understand?

Are your hearts too hard to take it in?

Don’t you see? Can’t you hear?

Don’t you remember?

Remember how many leftovers were gathered after everyone ate at both crowd feeding miracles?

At first, I’m puzzled by the disciples’ bread discussion. Not only did they watch Jesus feed thousands with a few loaves and some fish, they saw Jesus calm a storm. They saw him walk on water and heal the lame and the leper. They saw him make the blind see and heal a synagogue ruler’s daughter.

So why this inability to see beyond bread?

They were captive to their limited frame of reference….even after all the miracles. Their frame at that moment was a boat and one loaf of bread. Unfortunately, like the disciples, I am slow to understand. There are times I can’t see beyond my circumstances and I forget the miracles. My vision is blurred and my hearing is selective.

When the disciples told him how many baskets of leftovers they picked up, Jesus asks one more question.

Do you still not understand? 

Jesus asks them hard questions but he isn’t harsh. He is patient and kind with their slow understanding. I am overwhelmingly thankful for his tenderness.

Because sometimes, like the disciples, I don’t see beyond the bread.

Photo by Expect Best from Pexels

Congregate

Wonders

“Outdoors we are confronted everywhere with wonders; we see that the miraculous is not extraordinary, but the common mode of existence.
It is our daily bread.”        Wendell Berry

 

Elemental