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Archive for January 19th, 2022

As I listened to a reading of a text on Sunday, I was startled with a new realization.

If you are one who has reads the Bible you know, like me, that there will be epiphany moments like this one. Moments when a familiar text will suddenly pop with understanding, meaning and perspective that you have never understood before.

That was the case when John 2:1-12 was read.

This text is John’s telling of the miracle of water being turned into wine. It is the first recorded miracle that Jesus performed, so it is often looked at, studied in depth … for we humans know that firsts and lasts hold great value and meaning.

So, there is this wedding that is attended by Jesus, his disciples and Mary his mother. The wedding celebrations are going on for days as this is a middle eastern wedding.

At some point Mary comes to Jesus, alerting him to the fact that the wine had run out. Jesus responds as one might expect any son to his mother … “so, why are you telling me this?” But then he continues, and I love how the Contemporary English Version puts it,

Jesus replied, “Mother, my time hasn’t yet come! You must not tell me what to do.” (v.4)

I don’t know about any of you who are also mothers, but I can almost hear an eye roll in that response!

Then, without any further interaction between mother and son, Mary just makes a decision in her next words …

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

She didn’t wait for her son to give in, didn’t wait for him to take the first step.

In my minds eye, when I read this passage, I see her standing beside her son, bending down to his ear, letting him in on the news of the wine being used up. As he speaks to her, telling her that she musn’t tell him what to do … I see her stand, walking directly to servants, who were standing on the periphery of the room. As she reaches them, she looks directly into their eyes, with the force and confidence that might normally be unseen in such patriarchal society, by a woman, a guest …

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

And so they do. And so Jesus instructs them on the making of a miraculous recipe for the best of wine.

Do whatever he tells you

These are the last recorded words of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in the Word of God. Though we know she is present at numerous other events written in the Gospels, not once, not even at the cross, do we read her words.

These words, spoken to servants at a wedding … they are the big idea, her main message … to US.

She is telling us, today, wherever we may live, Do whatever he tells you and …

he will do miracles

he will turn ordinary into extraordinary

he will create the best things ever made

he will use you to do his will

This is her message, to us, today. It is not just a message at a middle eastern wedding many years ago. For, if it were, I am not sure that her words would have been recorded. No, they are there, within the Word of God because the message still has relevance today. These words still speak … to us.

So, today, as we go about our servant work, as we go about the mundane in our life and living, remember Mary’s message to you (and me),

do whatever he tells you

and await the miracles.

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