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The Wedding at Cana

  • Posted on Mar 14, 2011

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 3:9-11

Jesus was thirty years old when he began his public ministry. His public ministry began in the temple and at the River Jordan, at the Sea of Galilee and at the wedding at Cana. What was Jesus like before his gifts became public? Was he a carpenter’s apprentice to his father Joseph? Many folks come to be serious about their ministries in Christ around age 30. Many of us (me included) spend the first decade of adulthood wandering from thing to thing—some of us following our parents’ vocations or anything but. Like a good wine, sometimes it takes a while for our gifts to mature. But sometimes we sit on our real gifts….not ever quite ready for them to see the light of day.

Yesterday morning at our Rite 13 Sunday School, we talked about our gifts and talents, using the parable of the talents as a jumping off point. We talked about how the person who had 10 talents went out and doubled his talents. The person with one talent was afraid to lose his talent and so, rather than go out into the world and risk doubling or losing his one talent, he buried the talent in the ground. Mentor Kris asked our Rite 13ers: How many talents do you all think you have? Everyone said 10! Everyone said: “We have lots of gifts and talents!” And then we proceeded to share all our talents and gifts. As I struggled with what truly were my own gifts and talents, I wondered: What happens to us as human beings as we grow older? Does the world knock us about so that we no longer want to put forward our talents and gifts? Why do we become afraid?

What would it take for us to let our gifts see the public life of day? Lent might be about wondering what prevents us for using our unique, God-given talents and so prevents the Kingdom of God from growing more fully. Is it an old tape of shame? A place where we were brought down to earth in an unkind way? Is it the fear of losing face?

Jesus took a risk changing the rule of serving good wine first as well as changing water to wine. He began his ministry in a public place—and the first to recognize his gift that day were the servants. But perhaps someone else knew his gifts even before the wedding at Cana. Mary, his mother, knew that he could do something about the situation…she knew he was gifted in ways that no one suspected. Perhaps the people that love us best can help us see what gifts we have buried in the field