Photo by Al Elmes on Unsplash

Evolving from just “father” to “father-of-the-bride” is a step filled with equal measures of anxiety and joy.  There is so much to be excited about as our daughter’s identity is shifting as well.  Our hearts are filling even more as we expand our sense of family.  Blessedly, all the anxiety we’re experiencing in this moment is narrowly focused on the event of the wedding itself or, more specifically, the reception that will follow.

I can empathize with the father-of-the-bride and the reception staff who are facing a real challenge in this Sunday’s reading.  They’re hoping to host a party that properly celebrates the delight and promise of a newly married couple.  It must be working because the crowd is having such a good time that they’ve already consumed all the wine that was on hand.  But it’s too early to end this merrymaking, a likely result when the wine stops flowing.  As a former restaurant owner, I’m hard pressed to imagine a more dire predicament, one this future father-in-law will endeavor to avoid at all cost (well, maybe not ALL cost… we still have a budget to stick to).

What’s your experience with weddings?  What do you remember about the last wedding you attended?  Was it the ceremony or the outfits or the party?  Did anything go ‘wrong’ and, if so, how was it dealt with? 

It’s into this pressure-packed setting of joy and anxiety at a wedding that Jesus starts performing the “signs” that will give us ever more insight into how God will be at work in the world.  Now that Jesus’ first disciples (and us along with them) have been invited to “come and see,” John begins describing Jesus’ ministry and the “even greater things” that will portray God’s presence among us. 

It should not be lost on us that Jesus’ opening revelation takes place not in the temple or even the wilderness as described by the other Gospel authors.  Instead, the first sign pointing to God’s activity in and through Jesus happens during a wedding celebration.  The story begins in a place of delight and high expectations, one at which we should all be able to identify.  The Word made flesh begins revealing Godself so that the joy might continue and that a family might be blessed.  Good news indeed.

May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… God of blessing, may our celebrations be a witness to all who seek to be blessed in marriage.  Ease the fears of those who worry about the details.  May we all trust that your presence will ensure an abundance of joy.  Amen.