Paolo Veronese, Wedding in Cana, ca 1570
1 Corinthians 12:4-11
"So they filled them up to the brim."
Jesus not only provides the best of wines (the greatest of joys), his own joy is also filled completely to the brim. To the point where the vessels could not hold one more drop!
This finest of wines, this greatest of joys, it is not meant for us individually. It was not given so that the wedding couple could open up a wine cellar and drink themselves silly for the rest of their married lives. This finest of wines, this greatest of joys, is meant to be shared by all. It is meant to overflow into the lives of everyone present.
What was almost a disaster became the greatest of celebrations; the dark cloud was lifted from over the festivity. Even the stuffy, old headwaiter had to pay a compliment to the bridegroom. I wonder if the bridegroom even knew who saved his skin. Or, was this a private joke between Jesus, the servants, the disciples and (the slightly less cantankerous) Mary.
I wonder how many miracles happen in my life daily because of the prayers of others. Miracles I am totally unaware of because someone is praying for my ministry. How many times has my “skin been saved” by the prayers of someone who lifts my name in love upon their lips?
Likewise, I am challenged. Am I willing to act behind the scenes, interceding for others, like Mary did for this wedding couple? Am I willing to act on another’s behalf, even if they will never know my prayers or actions worked in their favor? Whose name(s) will I lift in prayerful intervention today?
What we can be assured of is this: When God gives, it is in fullness and abundance. It isn’t enough to get by; it is enough for the entire banquet. There is plenty of joy for the entire community when prayer moves from asking to acting.
P.S. I love the thought of the servants sharing in this incredible private joke/miracle with Jesus. Can you imagine their smiles as they served the wine and the compliments flowed freely up to the Headwaiter instead of Jesus? Did he point to the Lord? Did he even know where the wine came from?
By J. Goebbel