Family Liturgies

Ordinary life in God’s extraordinary hands

by Kelly Pittman

 Scripture Reading: John 2:1-11
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “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.”

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

When you consider the many miracles of Jesus recorded in the gospels, is the one at Cana at the top of your list? I would wager that most of us, kids included, tend to gloss over this one in favor of the accounts of miracle healing, and demon-driving that drew crowds and added to the number of folks who sought Jesus out. But the miracle at the wedding in Cana — the first miracle attributed to Jesus — tends to fly under the radar.

It’s a rather funny scene, if you think about it. Jesus is just an unassuming guest at a party until the wine runs out and Jesus’ mom unabashedly pipes up about her son’s master problem solving skills. I know that Jesus never disrespected his mother, but I wonder if there may have been a slight huff or eye-roll as Mary roped Jesus into action, pretending not to hear him as he reminded her that his hour had not yet come. “Do whatever he tells you,” she says to the servants, and then leaves him to follow-through.

And so Jesus quietly honors his mother’s request while no more than a handful of servants look on. The jars are filled with water, and out pours wine. Good wine. The best wine. The pricey stuff that a wedding host would only have in limited supply, flowing freely out of 30 gallon barrels.

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised by this quiet, unassuming, almost forgetful first miracle of Jesus. After all, it was in a similarly unobtrusive way that he came into the world. So humble that we, oddly, tend to attribute the events at Cana, and not his very birth as the first of his many miraculous acts.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, as he revealed the reality of the Kingdom of God come near, he often exhorted his followers to open their eyes and ears to Who was right there in front of them! So that whether it be a tiny seed, or the flowers in the field, or the birds flying in the air…or an ordinary barrel of water that somehow became something extraordinary in then hands of Jesus, our eyes would be opened to the miracle of Emmanuel…God with us.

16-0111PFpic-Spend some time together as a family reflecting on the extraordinary hand of God within the ordinary routines, places, activities and tasks of daily life together.

-Ask your kids if they have ever witnessed a miracle, and what they think constitutes a miracle.

-Maybe while you’re helping your kids do something mundane — braiding your daughter’s hair, or assisting your son with his teeth brushing — you could take a moment to really look at them and remind them that they are fearfully and wonderfully made; a miraculous gift given by God.

-If the weather permits, take a family walk outside and notice the scenery. Talk about the miracle of changing seasons, and the unique gifts that God gives us in winter.

How might ordinary conversation around the dinner table be made extraordinary as you consider the gift of gathering in a warm home, sharing a meal, talking about your day, supporting and encouraging one another as you talk about the highs and lows of the week? How might you reframe ordinary events of the day, and view them through the lens of Christ who is always present, always listening, always at work in and through us?

Wondrous God, we thank you
for your miraculous presence
that is all around us
even when we don’t notice.
Help us to live
with our eyes wide open to your goodness, grace and mercy,
so that all of the ordinary things we say and do
might shine with the light
of your extraordinary love for us in Jesus Christ. Amen.


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