Friday, January 13, 2012

Clay Jars

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days. John 2:1-12

I am at a conference where we are working together to raise up leaders, lay and ordained for our various ethnic communities. Many people are reluctant to take on leadership roles, and there are many challenges from the system we presently have in place. We have been telling how we encourage and support our people, and many good times and wonderful stories have been shared. In every time of sharing, there is a moment when one person urges another despite their reluctance. Friends encouraging friends, parents muscling their children into service, so they might exercise their gifts.

The good news in our gospel story today is that even Jesus needed coaxing, and needed a strong woman to lead him into using his gifts and skills. His first miracle, a the wedding in Cana, was the result of his mothers' push, and even the savoir of the world pushed back and resisted for a bit. Many are reluctant and resist. But God is always more willing to strengthen us, support us, enable to do what we have been called to do. It may seem impossible today, but God is making possible those things we are reluctant about, and we need but take a small step to make great and wonderful changes.

Today I ask God to give me the courage to take the first step, and to trust that the capacity will be there. May I also encourage those who are reluctant, tenderly and gently urging them on with the same firm gentleness that Mary found within herself. May we all be agents of miracle, encouraging the reluctant, supporting the explorers, soothing the fearful, so that the world might be renewed healed and transformed by the love of God made real.

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