Archive for January 27th, 2007

Our Mess, God’s Best

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Today’s scripture: John 2:1-12 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

I love what this story teaches us: that our messes can be transformed into God’s best. We see how an embarrassing problem (being ill-prepared for this grand occasion) turned into an opportunity to experience something great (the very best vintage wine, and a display of Jesus’ power). Let’s take a look at how we can learn to transform our own messes:

Notice that Jesus was an invited guest. Can you imagine throwing an event and Jesus was on the guest list? Most of us would bend over backwards trying to make sure that everything was perfect. The best of everything — linens, china, food. The wine must not only be the finest vintage, but plentiful as well. The Messiah will be in attendance and we simply must put our best face forward.

That reminds me of getting dressed on many Sunday mornings as a child. I would often ask my mother why we had to wear our best and most uncomfortable (at least to an 8 year old) clothes to church. She always said that God deserves our very best.

So the wedding was planned and all were enjoying a good time when suddenly things went horribly awry. They ran out of wine! How embarrassing! Here we have invited Jesus to our event and instead of seeing our best he is first-hand witness to our worst. What a mess! Running out of wine or food would surely send a message that a family was poor or at the very least poorly prepared for an event such as this.

We are often overly concerned about our public image and we tend to hide our messes far from the judgmental eyes of society.

But Mary teaches us a valuable lesson about laying our worst messes at the feet of Jesus. She simply lays out the situation, making no plea for a resolution one way or the other. Very simply she says to Jesus, “They have no more wine.” Jesus, here is my mess. Jesus, here’s the situation. Here it is, God, the real stuff that I have tried to keep hidden from polite society.

Now observe the response from Jesus. “This does not concern us,” and “My time has not yet come.” Mary does not respond but only instructs the servants to do as they are told by Jesus.

What is the time of Jesus? What is God’s time? We want God to bless us now. We want to see healing and transformation now. It is hard to wait for God to move in God’s own time, but when our Creator does move it is powerful and always right on time; as it should be. As Jesus performs his first miracle by turning water into wine I believe this story gives us sound instruction for allowing the Savior to turn our messes into Gods best!

Most importantly, we must listen for instructions and follow those instructions. Mary’s words are, “Do whatever he tells you.” If we are able to turn it over it Jesus, allow him to do what he will in his time, and listen for instructions, God is faithful to turn our messes into the finest of fine wines. The world doesn’t need to know how or when you got blessed; only the Lord and the servant need know. The world will say, “We thought we saw the best, but truly God saved the best for last!”

Thought and prayer for the day: Lord, come into my life, take control, and instruct me. I will follow your instructions and watch as you, in your time, turn my shortcomings and embarrassments into God’s best!

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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