Recently, I’ve been meditating on John’s account of the wedding feast at Cana (John 2:1-11). There are many points to meditate on, but Jesus’ command to the servers has especially attracted my notice of late.
“Fill the jars with water” (John 2:7).
What a simple order. Anyone can do this. What this means is that any one of us can serve the Lord. He has a task for even the humblest servant.
Humble does not mean easy. John says there were “six stone jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons” (John 2:6). Has it ever occurred to you how much water that is? Imagine standing at your kitchen sink, filling well upward of a hundred gallon-size milk jugs with water. That’s a lot of water.
God might not assign us any complex work, but that doesn’t mean it will be easy. What He asks of us often takes time and effort. Think of the decades we might spend praying for someone and bringing the Faith to them, or of the labor involved in raising children. Think of the struggle involved in staying the course spiritually, of being faithful to prayer and frequenting the sacraments through all the ups and downs of life.
Even everyday tasks require constancy and perseverance. It’s so tempting to break off a job to check our phones, daydream, or chat with someone. Are we willing to resist that temptation and focus on the task of filling our time “to the brim” with love and good works?
The servers’ hard work is beyond well-rewarded—before their very eyes, water is transformed into wine. One server trembles, perhaps, as he draws out some wine at Jesus’ command and takes it to the head waiter. The head waiter, in turn, summons the bridegroom in disbelief, remarking: “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now” (John 2:9-10).
Something curious occurs here. Jesus transforms this water into the best of wine. So too will He do so with our acts of service, provided we are united to Him. But see who gets the credit—the bridegroom.
Jesus, of course, is the true Bridegroom. Though He receives no credit here, the miracle is worthwhile. He reveals His glory and His disciples come to believe in Him (John 2:11).
But what of the servants? Nothing more is heard of them. They faithfully performed their task and now they disappear back into the shadows.
Are you and I prepared to disappear like these servants after having made our best effort to serve Jesus? Everything we have has been given to us by God. In spending our time, talents, and treasure in His service, we are only giving Him back His due. Do we recognize that? Are we content to know that He is making our work bear fruit even though we don’t see it in this life?
Amber writes from the bunker of her living room. There she hunkers down with her laptop and a blanket while keeping an eye and ear tuned in to the activity of family life. Music set on loop keeps her energy flowing as she muses on the deeper happenings of ordinary life and what food to restock the fridge with.