Sunday, May 19, 2013

You Have Saved the Best

Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.
John 2:10

I was always curious about the water into wine thing - the first recorded miracle Jesus performed - at the wedding party of a friend.  It just seemed so unimmortal - kind of an anti-miracle.  Not exactly what one would expect from the Son of God - not something as common as wine and water.  He changed water into wine.  Because the feast of celebration had gone on for three days and his mother had told him of the shortage.  Because he and his disciples had added extra mouths to the party.  Because he didn't want the bridegroom or his family to be embarrassed by the shortage.  Because it was needed.

I had to look it up - on - just to see how important a role wine had in the day.  Wine.  Is kind of a miracle in itself.    Fruit of the vine, grown to sweet ripeness, picked, and pressed - the juices separated from the husk - stored, and strained.  Sometimes simple - like grape juice - sometimes fermented like the wine we are more familiar with today.  Spiced, reduced, imported, or home-grown.  Wine was common.  Drunk by all ages, all castes, rich and poor alike.  It was offered as a drink offering in the temple; it was considered a basic household staple.  Although warned against overindulgence, people in Jesus's time didn't mind a little tongue-loosening and happy partying with good wine.  An abundance of wine ranked right up there with signs of God's blessings.

Which is exactly why I'm curious about this water into wine thing.  Jesus was helping the party - that three-day-old-I-can't-even-imagine party - to party on.

Yesterday, my family and I took a little day trip to the coast.  We went via the 'scenic route' - which we thoroughly enjoyed for all the right reasons.  It was, after all, scenic.  We came home via the highway - been-there-done-that with the longer, slower route - we wanted to get home  We had things to do, schedules to follow, deadlines to meet.  But the highway didn't end up being the shortest distance on the timeline - someone had driven off the road and was stuck in the median - and we were stuck in a giant traffic jam.  We moved slowly, for the most part.  Very slowly.

Slowly enough that I had some time to actually look along the shoulder of the road.  The shoulder of the highway was verdant and lush - it had been recently mowed, but there were errant stalks of wild grass bravely swaying in the breeze of the crawling cars.  I was fascinated.   Enough so, that I pulled my camera off the floor, opened my window, and started shooting.  This camera has an amazing lens on it - a 42x optical zoom.  I actually enjoyed the time spent in that traffic.  What I saw was eye opening.  Looking through the viewfinder is an introduction to a whole different planet.  A whole different planet also created by God.  But this is a planet of small things - things missed from normal vantage - beautiful colors and incredible compositions.  Common things.  Things I would miss in my normal day-to-day drive.  

But you have saved the best till now.

He changed water into wine.  Common things.  He didn't rant and rave and wave his arms.  He didn't mutter incantations and burn incense.  He didn't even lay his hands on the water jars.  He told the servants to fill them with water and then to pour and present the pouring to the headwaiter.  For his approval.  So the marriage feast - the celebration - could proceed without apology - a gift, perhaps even  a blessing to the marriage.  In the common acts, in the common sequence of events, Jesus performed a miracle.  On the highway yesterday, I had an opportunity to see the world differently - instead of the busy, hurry-up-and-go world of my everydays - the common weeds along the side of the road became something special.  A miracle.  God gave me a gift - perhaps even a blessing.  Like water into wine.

Heavenly Father, I know I lose sight of what's important sometimes.  The great will be small and the small will be great.  I need to remember those small things.  The details.  The unnoticed.  Thank you for showing me - again - the wonders of your creation.  Thank you for showing me the miracles in common things.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I know we probably haven't met in person, but I believe that the sharing of our ideas and thoughts, sometimes our hearts and souls, makes us more than strangers. I would like to say friends. Thank you for taking the time to contribute to my little space - I appreciate you.