Summary: There will be an enormous feast in heaven. It will be awesome. Other feasts recorded in Scripture point to the One Big Feast.
Do you enjoy weddings? I actually love weddings. In the past few years, I've done two weddings in restaurants-quite a popular trend actually. I've done one in a vineyard in Niagara Falls.
I’ve done one at a yacht club. I've done two or three in large backyards in the city or suburbs. Perhaps oddly, I’ve done none at our church.
John Ward, a CATM deacon, asked me recently: “Why is it that we don’t have weddings here at the church”. I answered, “Who’d want to get married in a gym?”
Normally by the time the wedding day arrives, I’ve spent a significant amount of time with a couple in pre-marital counselling. Hopefully, as a result the couple knows each other much better than if no counseling for the marriage were to happen.
For me as a minister, it means that I end up knowing the people that I have the privilege to bring together in holy matrimony. And at some level, their joy is my joy. Pretty cool actually.
Part of my joy is in knowing that they are entering into a covenant relationship that has incredible potential to bring joy to them and to multiply that joy in others.
My love of weddings is also due to the importance of my own wedding to Barbara in 1987. [Photos, comment].
Young men. Appreciate the hair you now have. Chances are, it won’t last.
Here is where I first pledged my love in a holy covenant before God and before the congregation and family. Here is where Barbara did the same.
These photographs, taken by my late brother Craig, remind me of God’s gift to me of Barbara, obviously, but also of God’s promise to me to be faithful and to show Himself true when He first invited me to be His child.
Things were a little complicated at our wedding and reception because we had a bunch of different communities that drew together to support us, and celebrate our marriage.
We had my long-term church community at Faith Temple across the Don Valley. We had the mission community at Evergreen that Barb and I were both deeply invested in.
We had her family, my family, her pastor, my pastor, her friends, my friends; and some random strangers that ended up being a welcome part of the festivities.
The wedding itself was at Faith Temple. The reception, a stand-up banquet (all we could afford), was held at Evergreen, the mission’s Yonge Street Branch.
It was a happy day that a lot of work had gone into. I wrote and recorded the music for the wedding. Barbara did everything else pretty much.
So, yeah, a wedding is a big deal. A joyful celebration. And it’s an ancient tradition going back, I read somewhere, 4400 years. In today’s text we get a bit of a fly-on-the-wall perspective of an important wedding in Jesus’ day in the town of Cana. Let’s be flies-on-the-wall together.
John 2:1 On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” 4 “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.
8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, 9 and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 10 and said, “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.”
11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.
You think it is expensive today to have a wedding and it is. A friend of ours is planning for a wedding in December of this year.
The first reception hall they looked at was going to charge over $10k for the reception alone. Plus the church, plus all kinds of other expenses. The price of big weddings is crazy expensive.
Back in Jesus’ time a Jewish wedding Feast lasted for a full week. They would begin with a parade, and the father of the bride would bring his daughter to the groom’s house.