Sunday, January 17, 2016

Do Whatever he tells you

This is a repost from my old blog.

"And at Cana, wedding guest,
In Thy Godhead manifest;
Manifest in power divine,
Changing water into wine"
~Christopher Wordsworth
Episcopal Hymnal Hymn # 135

The gospel reading in church today was the wedding at Cana. I've always found this passage a little funny since I grew up under the impression that the Bible (not necessarily God but the Bible) disapproved of drinking. I also grew up under the impression that the Bible actually does things, because people talked about it like it was a live thing instead of a book, but that's another tale entirely. The story is one you have to look at a little closer before you get it.

Mary, like any woman, even though she isn't throwing the party wants to help with the huge problem facing her hosts. They have run out of wine. This is worse than running out of booze at a frat party. It's a serious social faux pas. The situation would have shamed and embarrassed the bridal party. The liquor store is closed, apparently, and there isn't any quick fix to the problem so she mentions the problem to Jesus.

Jesus is frustrated by the implication she's laying down. I've watched the same thing unfold a hundred times at church. An acolyte doesn't show up. It's a problem, but not a disaster, because we have lots of kids, or at least one or two, who may not want to do it but won't say no. He responds with irritation, but Mary knows something is going to happen and acts on faith that it will. She tells the servants to "Do whatever he tells you."

The response to the disaster is an overabundance of wine. It's not just enough to placate the guests, it's enough for a kegger and some leftovers at a frat party. He does this quietly too. Only a handful of people know. There is no "For my next trick" involved, he simply solves the problem.

If someone needs help, do it! Do it quietly, do it without raising a fuss. Just do it. How annoyed would Jesus have had to have been to talk to Mary like that? Woman! he calls her woman? Women have been shaking things up for a long time now. Even if we are annoying we know how to get things done. I think she gives pretty good advice. Do whatever he tells you.

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