"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants,"do whatever he tells you." John 2:4-5
The story of the miracle of Cana, in which Jesus turns water into wine, contains this curious exchange between Jesus and his mother Mary. To address his mother in such a way would have been odd at best, and considered quite offensive in all likelihood. Then again Mary's request was an odd one in the first place. She came to Jesus and reported on the lack of wine at a wedding feast, bringing it to his attention in anticipation it would appear, of some action. But he was a guest, not a host at this party, so it hardly should surprise us that Jesus would hesitate bringing a solution to a problem that was not his.
But he does. And this miracle ("sign" John called it) sets up the larger motif of John's gospel Jesus death, his own willing action, a remedy to a problem that was not his. Jesus the guest, who could have simply endured or left a party that was losing its vitality and purpose, restored that vitality and purpose. Indeed, as we read later in the chapter, when the quality of the wine Jesus produces is "tasted" we discover that it was far superior.
Rev. Ken Nelson
The miracle of Cana, by way of a story about a wedding feast, underscores the theme of John's entire Gospel. In Chapter One, it says "He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." From stem to stern, the Gospel of John reveals that God in Jesus Christ came to a world losing its vitality and purpose indeed the creation couldn't even recognize its creator anymore. And the important point is that Jesus does not just arrive and endure the situation, or walk away from it, two valid options for him one would suppose. Jesus enters and life by life, 'little party by little party' as it were, and restores vitality and purpose to them all.
"Why do you involve me dear woman," he asked. Mary does not exactly answer his question, but by way of her instruction to those nearby "Do whatever he tells you," it's clear Mary knows that Jesus is the best alternative in the room.
So what about you? Why would you involve Jesus in your life? Well, what alternatives do you have? You will die someday, we all will, we know that. Are you satisfied with the notion of just turning to dust, or would you like the certainty of life again? Resurrection is not just some quaint Christian notion of a peaceful existence but a profound theological statement that what you are matters now, and forever to God.
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
Or maybe you simply want to work more and make more so you can spend more and impress others more? Wouldn't you like to try finding your validity not in what you make, but in who made you? Has the time come for you to seek a better alternative? The best one in the room is Jesus.
The Rev. Ken Nelson is senior pastor of First Lutheran Church in Minot.