When it comes to hospitality, are you a fretter, worrying about what MAY go wrong, worst case scenario? If you’ve ever been a mother-of-the-bride, you know that a wedding takes everything to the next stress level and beyond. Pride and perfection can get ugly on us and suddenly we need to be the unequivocal Hostess with the Mostest. Someone, pass the wine…
“No really. Someone, pass the wine. What, it’s all gone? Every last drop?”
Whether you’re a wine fan or not, it’s usually a staple at weddings, and at a particular wedding in Cana, a calamity occurred causing even the non-fretters to break into a sweat. Back in Jesus’ time, weddings were an epic ordeal lasting for a week (hence the wine!) with a ginormous guest list (nightmare.) The unspoken rule was to give guests the very best wine at the beginning of the celebrations, and then as they became… less discriminating, shall we say… the cheaper plonk was offered. But the mere thought of running completely dry and having to resort to water was unthinkable. It would have been utterly humiliating, not only to the host but also to the happy couple.
At this wedding, the guest list included Jesus, His disciples, and his mother. Mary must have watched her son daily, wondering when he would start his ministry. We know she pondered much in her heart, and now at this wedding where she saw a looming disaster as the wine ran dry, she suggested an opportunity for Jesus to perform a miracle. Not that He needed permission or a nod and a wink— He is the Son of God with the ability to do anything, anytime. But for some reason, Mary sensed this might be the right time and the right place. She said to the servants:
Those 5 words, inviting obedience and faith and the hope of something wonderful, speak deeply to me. Yes, they were uttered many hundreds of years ago by Mary at some wedding— but they are penned in the Word of God for us, too. A simple instruction. And when they were obeyed, Jesus graciously and miraculously transformed vats of water into the most exquisite wine ever tasted. And I’m sure Mary’s heart skipped a beat as she added this to her ponderings.
This miracle at the wedding wasn’t a matter of life or death— no one’s existence hung in the balance at this mega party. But God is all about the details, and He chose this special, jubilant occasion for Jesus to demonstrate His glory. And tucked within the narrative, we have the urging, the plea: “Do whatever he tells you”— that God might be glorified and show His miraculous love… even in us and through us.
I love that Jesus’ very first miracle was at a wedding. That His power was evident in the realm of hospitality. He could have turned the sun turquoise or caused mountains to emerge from the sea, but He chose something practical, something tangible and relatable. Perhaps a foreshadowing of the “wine” that was ultimately spilled for us on the cross in due course, and for sure, a lesson in obedience. But for me, it shines a light on the compassion and grace shown by the Saviour.
Jesus brings His fulness to our emptiness.
When we feel insignificant, not good enough, lacking, empty—He offers grace in abundance. Jesus does not require perfection because He alone is perfect and He alone fills the empty places we strive to perfect. When we offer our watery selves to Him, He works miracles, friends!
Are we ready, available, willing to do whatever Jesus tells us to do? Even if it’s out of our comfort zone, messy or painful, not in our plans or quite what we had envisioned for our future? Even opening our homes and hearts to those we wouldn’t usually hang out with?
“You’ll miss the richest moments in life—the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presence through the actual faces and hands of the people we love—if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door.” Shauna Niequist
Give grace. Receive grace. Trust Jesus. Open the door. He always provides exactly what we need, when we need it.
I wrote this book Pearls for the Bride when my daughter got married (and we did NOT run out of wine!) It’s a blend of humorous anecdotes, practical tips, and Biblical principles for the newlywed, or for those wanting to deepen their marriage relationship. Feel free to check it out HERE.
Cheers to us being the hostess with the mostest grace…
Linking up with some fabulous encouragers! Check them out: