Friday, August 10, 2012

Family Gatherings

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

We are getting ready to have all of our immediate family here because I am going to baptize our grand daughter Lilly on Sunday. All families have their special ways of being and our family is no different. There will be lots of hugs and lots of food and some squabbles and fights. Those whom we love are best at making us feel great and irritating the hell out of us. Despite all the tough moments, love reigns supreme and I am glad in every moment for my amazing and complex family.

Jesus is at a family gathering, a wedding, and his mother presses into service. He is not ready and he has some choice words to say to her. His first miracle was forced on him by his mother and yet, out of love for her and maybe to get her to be quiet, he began his ministry in this very human and miraculous moment. I am always heartened by this story as it never leaves out the child-parent struggle and the human struggle with identity and power, with and without our families. Jesus was very human and had mixed feelings about the whole wedding, the family gathering and his over-bearing mother. And in his humanity we can identify and understand that God is aching to give us strength where there is none and miracles when there is nothing left.

Today, as we prepare for our gathering, I ask God to help me ask for what I need in every situation, praying for strength and miracles when there is nothing else left to do. May we all give thanks for our humanity and our need, trusting that God is still more ready to provide than we are to ask. May we be humble enough to ask God for our every need, and compassionate enough to share our abundance with the world around us.

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