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. (John 2.10).
Disappointment. Who does not at some time experience this with regard to situations, people, the Church or ourselves? Our expectations constantly exceed reality and there is a falling off, whether sudden or gradual, a fading into greyness and boredom. This may turn to bitter cynicism or even depression and despair.
The often cited ‘glass half full’ against ‘glass half empty’ approaches do not help, representing as they do optimism and pessimism respectively, states of mind that are often without basis, although they may make the present more or less bearable for a short time.
Christian hope is, in contrast, realistic, the resources are unlimited and it is forward-looking. In the story of the marriage feast at Cana (John 2.1-11) this is illustrated by Jesus’ mother. Her hope was grounded on her relationship with Jesus. She knew him!
They have no wine.
Whether a ‘lack’ or a ‘need,’ the situation can be brought to Jesus in the knowledge that it is in his power to change it without trying to tell him how this should be done
Do whatever he tells you.
- Acceptance of God’s timing (Jesus had replied ‘My hour has not yet come’). Individual events are part of an eternal plan, a bigger picture, which we may not be able to comprehend.
- Acceptance that we have no claim of our own and cannot force God to act as we wish. This applied to his mother too! Are we sure of God’s power and mercy or of our own entitlement?
- Trust and obedience. Mary’s response recalls her earlier acceptance ‘Let it be to me according to your word’ (Luke 1.38). Nor should we forget the effect of her trust on the servants, who took the contents of a water jar to the chief steward! Trust is not a passive matter.
‘It is a picture of the creative abundance of God, and points to the nature of Jesus as God himself,’ writes Archbishop Justin Welby in his new book Dethroning Mammon, referring to this story.
The best is yet to come.