Mary: Jesus, you aren’t going to believe this. They have run out of wine.
Jesus: I told you this was going to be a lame party. I totally didn’t want to come.
Mary: Yes, well, but i knew there would be some nice girls here…
Jesus: ANYway…i guess somebody’s going to have to make a run.
Mary: Yes, I suppose. Unless…well, you know. You could do some party tricks.
Jesus: Woman! And of course, I mean “woman” in the most sincere and respectful tone, and not at all the the perjorative sense that is meant to silence you… I say, Woman! I couldn’t possibly. It is not yet my time. The world is not ready for me.
Joseph: Don’t talk to your mother that way. And anyway, it would be really cool. Why don’t you just do what she says?
Jesus: You’re not my real dad!
But of course…Jesus does it anyway. He turns a lame-@$$ wedding into the greatest one of all time, by transforming the water into a surplus of wine. The party continues on into the night.
Some say that Jesus is foreshadowing the ‘gift’ of the cross here, the promise of eternal life–that which never runs dry. Maybe. Or maybe he loved a good party. Or maybe he really loved his mama.
Or maybe Jesus knew that love was the real miracle. That in a dark and broken and messed up world, people who still seek the salvation of human connection are brave enough and bold enough to deserve something spectacular. Maybe he knew that a world of Manti Te’o (wth is that even about? i honestly don’t think anybody knows) and Kardashians and Charlie Sheen, we could all use a little more of the magic of the wedding feast.
Truth is, it is miraculous that people still get married. When the divorce rate is well over 50% (true story); when our ex-es are southeastern kentucky meth dealers (also a true story) or something equally impressive; when odds are against us from the start; there is something about love that sustains us and compels us to hope, something essential and life-giving that overcomes even the lamest wedding ritual, that remains joyful life-giving well into the night.
Likewise, it is the essence of grace and good news that drives us back church, when every trend says we are dying; when every public opinion survey says that our tradition is ‘irrelevant,’ ‘judgmental,’ ‘hypocritical,’ perhaps even ‘lame.” We continue to believe in the miracle of grace and community because, around our table, the cup is never dry.
Love is the miracle, and it keeps us coming back for more. Jesus knew this. And so did his mama.