On family weddings, dancing, and the provision of 800 bottles of wine: some thoughts

‘There was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there; Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine”. Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother – yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me”. She went ahead anyway…’ (John 2 verses 1-5: The Message)

It was not the time.
Too soon, the guests would say goodbye
The celebrations now run dry
To mutter ‘cheapskate’ quietly
And slowly slip away; the bride
Would gather disappointed skirts, her dream
Now sullied by this hurt, her groom
Now anxious to divert so coughing nervously.

It was not his time:
He’d only just begun to pace the land,
to show to each his face
to find the ones in need of grace
to follow in his wake. This day was one
for other men to shine - take centre stage, to dance
and dine and drink before the Great Divine
until the morning breaks.

Yet on this most-blessed day, when joy
Suppressed by insufficiency was born again
When wine outpoured most liberally
- the best of wine, the zest of life –
filled each and every cup. When two
sought to become one, and through
this lavish miracle there grew
a new and blissful hope.
Six stone water-jars there were – six jars
Containing water, nothing more:
To quench the thirst, to cleanse the skin
Remove the stain and dirt and sin
The ordinary curse. He looked on water
seeing wine; the laughter in the bridegroom’s eyes;
the humdrum commonplace defied
by overflowing mirth.

And happiness
caught each one unaware
brought each one wonder in that place
where man and wife stood face to face
to dance amongst the throng.
And one who caused the heavenly song
Now joined the revelry, to dance
With bride and groom, with father, mother,
With smallest child and eldest brother
To each his heart belonged.

And then it was time:
Quietly, barefoot, on he danced
and pausing, with a backward glance
smiled at God’s benevolence
then gently walked away. And on into the night
the sound of wine outpoured and sorrows drowned
of love renewed on holy ground
went on till break of day.

TAW 2010


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