Summary: This sermon looks at Jesus’ first miracle to show us that better things lie ahead of those who believe in Jesus.
The Best Is Yet To Come
Life can throw some interesting curve balls our way, can’t it? I truly believe there is not one person here who has never had a “Oh my land, I just want to die!” moment. They can come at us at any time, even when we least expect it.
This past Monday, Melissa and I had some errands to finish at the Dollarama. This was the day before Caleb’s birthday so Melissa has to pick up a few plates and napkins for his party at school. When we had all we needed, I went to the check out counter to pay for the items we had. The lady standing behind the cash register noticed the number 5 candle we had for Cabe’s cake.
The lady smiled at Caleb and asked him who was going to be five. Just a proud as possible, Caleb looked at the woman and proudly proclaimed, “It’s my birthday tomorrow. My dad is thirty and he’ll be thirty-one on his birthday!” All I could do was hand her the money while she, and the people behind me, had a laugh at my expense.
That was never planned. I’m sure Caleb wasn’t thinking “How could I embarrass Dad today?”. All he was concerned about was his birthday and his father’s age. Those things just happen. There are times I wish that the silly and embarrassing things were the only “hardships” we have to go through, don’t you?
Unfortunately we live in a fallen world. No matter how hard we try, bad things still happen. It’s not just the small things, but it is the life altering experiences that I’m talking about. People still get sick. Loved ones still pass away. Bills still need to be paid and families still need to be fed. All of these can be hard for people to deal with.
David was a man who knew something of hard times. He, like all of us here today, knew what a struggle this life can be. “Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” Psalm 86:1-4. Just like David, we can find ourselves at the end of our ropes, and the only place to turn is to God. Perhaps that’s even why you came to church this morning.
This morning, we find ourselves looking again at a very familiar passage to most of us here today. In John 2, we find the familiar story of Jesus’ first recorded miracle. Jesus, Mary, and the first four disciples find themselves at a wedding when something tragic happens. The wine runs out!
Read John 2:1-11
What an embarrassing predicament to find oneself in. Here Jesus and the rest of them had been invited to a wedding feast only to be told by Mary that the wine had run out. It’s not so embarrassing for the guests as it would be for the host of the party. Can you imagine? That has to be a HUGE social faux pas. You are NEVER supposed to run out of anything. That’s just poor planning.
Those sorts of criticisms are available for anyone who fails. There are many people we know, maybe we even call them “friends,” who are just waiting to pounce on any weakness that we may have. Gossip thrives in an environment like that.
I recall a time back in Lower Hainesville where criticisms and weaknesses in a person’s life became fodder for the gossipmongers. They were having a field day over the fact that a man started going to church with his in-laws. That sounds harmless enough, but then the rumour mill began grinding out tales of infidelity and abuse. “The only reason HE’S coming to THIS church is to put and wedge between her and her parents.”
I received a phone call from the wife a short time later. As I talked with her, the first thing I did was to apologise for what others were saying during this time. She confided in me the problems that she and her husband were going through, none of which matched up with the stories being floated around.
Sometimes we bottle up our emotions and struggles because of the fear of how others may react. It sounds silly, I know, but we like to put on the mask, don’t we? If we can at least look like we have it all together, then we are okay.
I’m not sure if the bridegroom was aware of the wine situation at the marriage celebration, but I like to think he did. Perhaps he pulled Mary aside and told her they were out of wine. What ever the case may be, it had become common knowledge to those in attendance, for the most part, that all the wine was gone.