This past Sunday I received a gift in the form of a Saturday snowstorm. I’ve mentioned before that I teach Sunday school. This Sunday morning the only child that showed up for my Sunday school class came in my car. And you have to know that Isaac was perfectly willing to sit beside me with a pencil and some paper, just as I was perfectly willing to have the chance to enjoy an entire service and a sermon.
We are very blessed in our church to have an amazing orator as our priest and I always enjoy the sermon. And God must have really wanted me to enjoy the sermon this Sunday if he was willing to dump so much snow on Essex county. I think it’s because he wanted me to share it with you. So note, I am not taking credit for these ideas, but I am sharing them with you as I believe God intended.
The gospel reading was the wedding in Cana from John 2:1-12.
On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons.[a] 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 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 10 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.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
I think most of us are fairly familiar with this water into wine story. So I’ll just skip to the point of the sermon. These are the very last words in the bible spoken by Mary, the mother of Jesus. “Do whatever he tells you.”
Mary, the mother of Jesus. Can you imagine being the mother of the son of God? I’m sure that Jesus was much like every other little boy out there, with one exception – he was without sin. Can you imagine a child that never lied, was never selfish or talked back or was disrespectful? It sounds like heaven right? Except that this exceptional child wasn’t just the son of God, he was God. And he very probably did God-like things without even thinking about them. He was after all a child, and last I checked, childish impulsiveness isn’t a sin. Imagine how much stress you would feel trying to hide from your friends and family this God in human form. The story of the wedding in Cana says that this was the first of his signs that Jesus did to make his disciples believe in him. It doesn’t say that this was his first miracle. In fact I’m sure that his life up until that point was filled with hundreds or maybe thousands of miracles. God is love and Jesus loved us so much that he came to die for our sins. But that love for humanity couldn’t have just happened to Jesus when it was time for his ministry. I think it was something he was born with. I’m sure it was something he expressed every single day of his life.
I’ve digressed here quite a bit from the sermon because I’m a mom and since we are talking about a mother, I can’t help but reflect on that. But getting back to it, it’s important to really think about and try to understand the relationship that must have existed between this mother and this child because that might be the entire point of this story. Not the sign itself, but the relationship. The story, not of a miracle, but of a love.
Mary came to Jesus with a problem and, even though his response to her was “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.”, she had faith. So much faith in the goodness of her son that her response was to tell the servants to do whatever he told them to do. She knew that she could count on Jesus. Her faith in him was absolute. And when we think about the last recorded words of arguably the single most important woman in Christianity, “Do whatever he tells you.” how can we not be moved? How can we not respond to this woman who knew the man we call Saviour more intimately that anyone? Who wrapped him in swaddling clothes and nursed him at her breast?
Let read this story with new eyes and hearts and understanding. Let us pray and aspire to have a faith like the faith of Mary. Let us all listen to her final words about her beloved son and DO WHATEVER HE TELLS US.