The Glory of God’s Gracious Love for Us…in Small Things!

Dear Brothers,

If the goal of Jesus’ first miracle was to create some buzz, then Jesus should have fired his publicist.  The location of the miracle was in a town so small that John feels it necessary to name both the town and the “state” in which it could be found.  The miracle served the needs of a wedding couple whose names we aren’t even given, and the less than abundant provisions for their guests suggests that John might not be accused of being a famous-name-dropper had the Spirit inspired him to share that information.   And the miracle itself? It was no big show.  There was no turning on or off the sun.  No mountains moved from here to there.  Nothing outwardly extravagant was visible for all to see.  There’s a lack of wine at a small town wedding for a small town couple and Jesus quite quietly creates the finest wine (admittedly in generous abundance] from what moments before had been nothing but water.

But, of course, Jesus had no publicist nor did he intend to capture headlines with his miracles.   He had no desire to be a traveling miracle circus.  As John often reminds us, Jesus’ miracles were signs that pointed away from themselves to something more wondrous.  The signs pointed not primarily to the glory of the miraculous action but to the far greater hidden glory of the wondrous person who performed them. And on this day, though many at the wedding, like the master of the banquet, may not have even realized what had happened, yet this sign met its intended goal.  Jesus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

But even though the details of the what, where and for whom of the miracle take back stage to the glory of the “who” of the miracle worker, does that mean the other details have nothing to say to us? Since God does nothing accidentally or on a whim, might not at least a part of Jesus’ glory revealed in this sign be found in those details?  What does it tell us that the Father and the Son’s perfect timing for this first of his miraculous signs was to provide a basic wedding feast staple for what would have otherwise been an embarrassed wedding couple in an obscure Galilean village?

That the infinite and holy Creator of the universe is mindful of sinful humanity and comes to live among us to remove our curse is astounding grace.  But there’s more.  God’s merciful concern for us extends even to the mundane needs of our individual daily existence.  Part of the glory of God’s grace to us in Jesus is that along with him he “graciously gives us all things” (Romans 8:32).  This too is part of the glory of this sign:  no detail of our lives is too unimportant for his concern on our behalf.

To put it another way, God does not treat us as much of the world does.  To much of the world we don’t matter.  None of us in pastoral ministry find ourselves on the cover of People magazine.  No paparazzi hang out outside our churches hoping to get a shot of us after worship hopping into our Maseratis.   Those desiring to sell more newspapers will gain nothing from plastering our name and picture on the front page.  The world gives little thought to us as we live out what to the world is as unremarkable an existence as that unnamed couple from Cana.

But don’t believe the lie that the lack of attention the world may pay to our lives translates into a failure on the part of our God to pay attention to us.  Satan knows that to lead us to doubt God’s concern for the daily mundane needs of life can quickly escalate to doubt about his concern for any need of our lives from body to soul.

That means, it is no small part of Jesus’ glory revealed in Cana to recognize this:  no part of our existence is so obscure or mundane that it escapes the notice of our Savior.  While his answers to our every need are typically not handled in such an outwardly miraculous way, in the details of our lives he is at work to reveal his glory as our gracious God day after day.

Even in his care and concern for the unremarkable detail of our lives, we too learn to put our faith in him.

In Him,