I'm thinking that preaching this week changed at 4:53 pm on January 12th. All of a sudden we are reminded at how rediculous it is that the first sign performed by the savior of the world was turning water into wine so that the drunk could stay that way at a wedding banquet. If we described it as God's extravagance on Monday, by the time the sun came up on Wednesday it is was more like foolishness.
Events like the Port au Prince earthquake, like the Christmas Tsunami of 2004, like Hurricane Katrina leave us asking God, "why?" And leave preachers with the need to address the concerns and anger of their own congregations (and often of their own).
So today, as I put to paper what has been floating around my head the past few days, I'm thinking there are two key points in the text.
1- Mary's statement "do whatever he says" isn't directed only at the servants of the banquet, but to us as well.
2- The chief stewards claim that the best was saved for last isn't directed only at the bride-groom but at every person who has ever suffered loss, every person who has watched buildings collapse, every person who has wondered, "why, God, why?"
Ultimately, I am reminded of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who in 1961 at a meeting of the AFL-CIO boldly claimed that "the arc of the universe is long, but it is bent toward justice." And sometimes, it seems, that justice takes the form of a 7.0 earthquake shocking the people of the 1st world into action on behalf of the people of the 3rd.
Was it extravagance? Was it foolishness? Or maybe it was a sign of things to come, a banquet that will never end, a world of justice and peace in which the need to wash hands is replaced by the ability to enjoy God's goodness.
Pray for the people of Haiti, donate to ERD or the Red Cross or whatever aid organization you support, and remember that justice will prevail, someday, and hopefully soon.