I’ve been learning a lot about meditating on Scripture, and I’m seeing a lot of things in Gospel stories that I hadn’t noticed before. Others probably have. But I’m cursed with having grown up in the church and having been taught the Bible stories in specific ways. So it’s hard for me to give them a different bent. But I’m learning. At age 49, I’m learning.
I’m on “vacation” this week, which means I’m working at home on some freelance writing. It’ll be great fun, a whole week’s worth of quality time for quality writing. I started today out on the screened sun porch reading the story of the wedding banquet at Cana, Jesus’ first miracle. My childhood Sunday school teachers focused on Jesus, Mary, and the bridegroom. I had never really considered the role of the servants, the working class (which is probably a result of my Republican upbringing). But imagine what happened.
Jesus says, “Hey guy, come over here.” The two servants come. “See those water jars? Go fill them with water.” They look at each other, shrug, and then ask, “Why?” Jesus smiles. “Just play along with me on this, okay? We’re gonna have some fun.” The liked Jesus, becaue he didn’t mind mixing it up with them, the lowly servants–talking to them, taking an interest in their lives, joking with them. So they went off and filled the jars.
“Okay, we’re done,” one of them said.
Jesus handed one of them a cup. “Now, draw out a cup of” and he did the quotey two-fingers gesture “water.” He did. It was a dark cup, so the color of the liquid didn’t show up real good. But it sure looked like a dark red wine. The servant looked up at him with a puzzled expression. Jesus had a huge, huge smile. “Here’s what I want you to do. The bridegroom’s cup is empty. That him this cup. Just hand it to him, and walk away. Don’t tell him where you got it. Okay?”
So they did. Then they came back to Jesus. “I don’t think he suspected anything,” they reported.
Later, Jesus, cup in hand, walked over to the bridegroom and threw his arm around him in a chummy way. “Tom,” he said, because that was the bridegroom’s name, “this is great stuff! A lot better than the wine you put out first.” Over in the corner, the two servants are snickering. Jesus catches their eye and winks at them with a sly smile. Tom knows something is going on, but he doesn’t know what. And nobody tells him.
Only the servants knew. And the disciples. John says this miracle convinced the disciples to believe in him. But so did the servants, I’m sure. The bridegroom, the fellow with some money (because he had servants), a guy who would be useful in building a self-supporting suburban church–Jesus kept him in the dark.
That’s my version, consistent with the basic details John gives us, and I’m sticking to it.Leave a comment