Summary: Christ's first recorded miracle, the turning of ordinary water into extraordinary wine, becomes a picture of Christ bringing joy in the midst of sorrow.
One of my favorite movies of which I will boldly, blatantly and unashamedly admit is the sequel “Bad Boys II.” It is a funny/amusing/somewhat comical/quite insightful movie whether you like or not with Martin Lawrence (of which I am a die hard fan/admirer/aficionado) and Will Smith and Gabriel Union. At the end of the movie, this Cuban villain, if you will, has gotten angry with the characters of Will Smith and Martin Lawrence because they have caught his racketeering of the drug called Ecstasy; and they have retrieved his money; they’ve got 10 million dollars of his cash that he believes belongs to him. And his sister, Martin Lawrence’s sister (played by Gabriel Union), has now been snatched and kidnapped by the Cuban man and the government comes and now says to Martin Lawrence’s character “I’m sorry—we don’t do negotiations in Cuba—there’s nothing we can do.” If you saw the movie then you know the story—they decided to go over there and rescue Cid (that was her name in the movie) on their own. They get over there; they’ve set the plan in place; they’ve got bombs in place; they’ve got people in place; and then out of nowhere the plan goes awry. Something does not go right in the plan and they are now under attack, assault and harassment unexpectedly. All of a sudden Will Smith yells “Abort plan A…go to plan B…go to plan B.” Martin Lawrence looks at him and says “What is plan B?” They go to another scene and another soldier says “Plan B? What is plan B?” They both look at Will Smith and ask proverbially and urgently “What is plan B?” Will Smith’s character responds by saying “I don’t know. But plan A ain’t working. Let’s do something”.
And while we laugh at the humor of that there is a harsh reality and ruthless principle interwoven within the fabric of the director’s writing. And that is—every now and then—we make great plans where plan A is laid out to get whatever we want—but every now and then we come under unexpected/astonishing/sudden assault from areas where we were not looking for it—and we end up running for our lives. Because even though we run looking for plan B we don’t really have a plan B—because we never expected for plan A to fail and not to work.
Who am I talking and preaching to already? One poet put it this way: The best laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry.
How many of you know you’ve laid out some plans in your life,
• you’ve had some things written down
• you knew what you wanted to do, where you wanted to be; who you wanted to be with; who you didn’t want to be with;
• what you wanted to have in the bank;
• what you wanted to do with school and in your career;
• where you wanted to get a job;
• the business you wanted to open;
• you had your plan laid out; it looked like everything was going the way that it was supposed to go; and out of nowhere Plan A gets blown up and blown away; and now you are walking around crazy going Coo Coo for Coco Puffs because you don’t have a plan B.
Who am I preaching to already? You laid out some plans for 2006 and they never came to fruition. You laid out some plans in January of last year that you wanted and intended and purposed to be in by December of last year—but December has come and it has gone—and you still are where you were in January of 2006 because the best laid plans of mice and men have a tendency, proclivity, bent, predisposition to go awry. Yes, every now and then, inspite of the plans that we make, things blow up in our face and go unexpectedly the way we did not anticipate them to go.
And that is exactly and precisely what happens in this very familiar, proverbial, true and well-known story. You know the story—known affectionately and commonly as the Wedding at Cana. It is a well-known story—how Jesus the Christ fixed what went wrong in the story.
But the other day as I was reading the other day and doing my exegetical work for my sermonic presentation and biblical exposition—I discovered a fact of sociology and geography that added for me a poignant point of theology that I think could help us understand the sermon today.
It was said that Galilee was essentially divided into two parts and these two parts represented two different socio-economic pictures. One side of town was down by the Sea of Galilee—and those who lived down by the Sea were said to be people of little, meager means; they were said to be poor people; they were seen as the people who did not have much; as people who had to hustle just to make a living; they were the people who could not make ends meet without a struggle. They were always in need; they were always dependent; they were hopelessly handcuffed by helplessness and handouts.