Not too long ago we cooked supper for our daughter’s friends. They all gathered in our house to study together and watch movies after supper. April had already planned to make spaghetti. Anna wasn’t sure how many of the friends were coming. She finally firmed up a number and told her mom. April said to me that we needed to get more spaghetti. She doubled the recipe for the sauce and the amount of pasta. The girls ended up eating their fill, and, of course there was plenty left over. One pot full that we normally cook would’ve been enough. We’re still eating leftover spaghetti. Hey, no complaints from me.
Plenty left over. I read from John 2 recently about the wedding feast in Cana. They were about to run out of wine, and Mary went to Jesus and told him. He was reluctant to do anything, but she went to the servants nearby and told them to do whatever he told him. You know the story, water jars, fill them up, best wine when everyone’s tipsy, first of his signs, disciples believed in him. Great story! And, yes, there’s plenty of Eucharistic imagery in the purification reference, water, wine. I know, and that’s great, too.
Plenty left over. That’s the thing to me today, and I really believe we don’t want to dwell on this part of the story. I actually believe we’re hesitant to openly discuss God’s heart to give abundantly out of grace. We’re more inclined to talk about what we’re supposed to do first and God’ll give back in response. Anyway, I’m not going to talk about giving today. This abundance thing is the deal today.
Plenty left over. It was the responsibility of the groom’s family to make sure the food and wine lasted long enough to satisfy everyone who came to the wedding banquet. That’s what prompted Mary to seek out Jesus to do something. “They have no wine,” she said. His response, “My hour has not yet come,” is clearly a referencing to his pending redemptive crucifixion and resurrection and the wine being an allegory for his precious blood. I’m cool with that. Mary misses his prophetic metaphor and tells the servants to stay on their toes for what he’ll tell them. Her insistent behavior is worthy talking about later, but, again, that’s not where I’m going.
Plenty left over. From Jesus’ directions, they fill up six water jars used for a purification ritual (it’s like going to into the sacristy and taking the communion trays and glasses and using them for a party) – 20 to 30 gallons in each. Here’s the deal, one would be enough. He can make his point with one. He can make his point without 12 baskets of bread left over after feeding thousands many days later. Why so much left over? Ya know, some of that’s going to be wasted. The steward tells the bridegroom who was responsible to keep the bar supplied and buffet filled and said that most pull out the lousy wine to drink after everyone’s drunk, “but you kept the good wine until now.”
“No, Jeff, don’t go on some tangent that get’s us away from the primary purpose of the Christ, to cleanse and redeem.” Hey, I’m with ya, and there’s plenty left over!
120-180 gallons of wine. That’s nuts. That’s crazy! That’s God!
This is God’s heart. Pressed down, shaken together, running over shall men heap into your bosom. This is God’s heart, to give until you can’t take anymore. I honestly believe we don’t look at God this way. We think God will give only enough, grace, blessing, provision so we can prove to God we can handle more. There’s probably some truth in that, but when we translate that into lowering our expectations of grace and invest our passions into what we can do first, we miss God.
Hey, you Protestants! It's amazing grace!