Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mother and Child

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward." So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now." Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. John 2:1-11

My mother will be ninety early next month. She is still lively and alert and although her short term memory is not good, she can remember all the funny things we did as kids. And she can still look at me with that look - you know the one - the look that tells you that you are in deep, deep trouble. Mothers have a hold over us in so many ways. They can be our biggest supporters while also being our disciplinarians. And when we are grown, despite the changes in relationship they still hold us in their sway. They have held us close during the myriad of changes we have gone through, and have helped us grow into the full stature of our humanity.

Our gospel finds us glimpsing the very intimate relationship between mother and son, and the very humanity of the savoir of the world. He was on the verge of living into his full potential, which his mother already knew, but he was reluctant. I am sure there was more discussion between the two that what comes through in our Gospel. Mary had a 30 year old son who she probably thought was long overdue for his important role. And Jesus was struggling living into his call, and maybe resented his mother and her pushing. She saw it as encouragement, he saw it as forcing his hand. We all struggle with the gifts and skills that we have been given and our sense of competency or lack thereof. And parents often struggle with their children's reluctance and slow growth. We are human as was Jesus and his mother. And God promises, that if we will step out a bit in faith, despite our anxiety and reluctance, we will be blessed with strength upon strength.

Today I ask God to give me courage to step out in faith and the humility to ask for help when I need it. May we be bold in our asking and in our encouraging today. May we use the gifts we have been given, trusting that God will make them good and more than adequate for the needs of the situation. May we set aside reluctance and anxiety and step forward for the love and care of God's world today.

The Collect

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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