“They have no wine.” I smile when I read this verse in John’s story of Jesus and his mother at a wedding. In a very motherly voice, Mary tells her son, Jesus, that the wine supply has been depleted. She does not tell him what to do; she just states the obvious—the wine is gone.

What parent among us has not made a request to our child in such a way? A mother walks into a messy bedroom and, rather than asking her child to clean up the room, declares, “This room is a mess.” A father finds the gas tank empty after his teenager borrowed the car and tells the teenager, “The tank is empty.” These declarative sentences are not meant simply to describe the situation. Rather, the parent’s tone implies the child should interpret the sentence as an imperative. Something needs to be done—and soon. The honored guests are out of wine. “Do something,” a mother tells her son.

Sometimes our lives are so mangled and confused that we do not know how to ask for help. The situation is messy, our emotions are on empty, and we can only say, “I hurt.”

Yet God hears our feeble attempts to ask for help even when all we can do is name our pain. “My marriage is falling apart; (repair it).” “My job is insecure; (provide financial support).” “My best friend is dying; (heal her).”

The intimacy of mother and son, of God and believer, allows for clarity. We do not have to make detailed requests for the God of the universe to understand our needs. The water jars become filled with good wine. God knows even when we cannot ask.

May you walk in the confidence that God knows your needs even before you speak them.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 2:1-11

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Lectionary Week
January 14–20, 2019
Scripture Overview

Popular conceptions of God sometimes mislead us. Messages coming even from within Christianity sometimes make us think that God is constantly angry, just waiting for us to slip up. This week’s readings remind us of the truth. Isaiah teaches us that God delights in God’s people just as a groom delights in his bride. This love, the psalmist proclaims, is steadfast and never-ending. The life of Jesus shows us that God even wants us to have a good time in this life. Jesus chooses a wedding as the place to perform his first sign. He multiplies the wine in order to multiply the enjoyment of the guests. Paul in First Corinthians speaks of spiritual gifts. These gifts are all given by God for the good of the entire community.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Isaiah 62:1-5. Recall a time when you have flourished and a time when your life was far from peace and order. How did you feel God’s delight in each situation?
Read Psalm 36:5-10. When have you felt God’s light, been quenched by the fountain of life, or taken refuge in the shadow of God’s wings?
Read 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. How can you use your God-given gifts to complement others’ and to support the common good?
Read John 2:1-11. How do Jesus’ miracles help you to understand his identity as the Son of God?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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