The Pastor’s Quill
Who Is On Your Invite List?
By Pastor Tim Hodge
July 02, 2017
John 2:1-2 (NKJV)
“On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. (v2) Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.”
Life is a great adventure. One that was never intended to be experienced alone. Some people are extroverts and are at-home in crowds and seem to always have people around them. There are introverts who are uncomfortable navigating in crowds and would just as soon be alone (and left alone). The truth remains that even most introverts have a core group of friends in their lives.
There are occasions in life where people are invited (i.e. birthday parties, graduation parties, retirement parties, and (as in our text today) wedding celebrations). To be the invitee or the invited involves all degrees of extroverts or introverts. This is what we socializing humans do.
There are other seasons and other occasions of life when we need to be conscientious of ‘inviting’ people, but these are more delicate. These would include experiencing the death of someone we care for and then the grief recovery process, tragedies in life, upheavals (losing a job, business, or home), sickness, extreme hardships, etc. For these we don’t normally send out ornate R.S.V.P. cards. These we have more of a tendency to weather the storms alone. We internalize the physical and emotional pain while we lick our wounds in increasing despair and impending darkness. That is exactly what the devil, the enemy of our soul, likes to see happen. We don’t realize it, but he is isolating us. We muster all our strength, but we were not constructed to handle these events alone. Like it or not, these things are also part of the “great adventure.”
Everyone can’t be given access to our life events (the good or the difficult). However, we need to “let” people in and we had better be selective as to WHO we invite. We need to be conscientious as to WHO we invite in our personal business. This is part of what we were designed for. Those we give access into our lives will be a part of the “make-or-break” process in every scenario of life.
In our text today we find Jesus in the first week of His three year season of ministry. It was so early that he only had five of His twelve disciples selected. In His first week of ministry (as the scripture states it was the “third day”) He was invited to a wedding. The people mentioned on the “invite list” were Mary (His mother), Jesus, and those five new guys who were with Him (of course there were others, but these folks are named).
A wedding in Jewish culture was a major deal. It went on for several days which included eating, drinking wine (hold on, before some of you get excited these drinks were made up of 1/3 wine and 2/3 water – for someone to get drunk at a Jewish wedding was a disgrace), dancing, singing, and constant drop-ins from the community to the new home of the bride and groom.
Early in this wedding celebration something horrific happened that was about to place a shameful blight on this newly married couple’s reputation: they were about to run out of wine. We can find all kinds of excuses such as poor preparation in securing the proper amount of wine or to another extreme this couple had way more people join the celebration than expected. Regardless of any excuse – warranted or unwarranted – shame was about to hit this marriage (and new marriages have enough strain on them when everything is good).
Mary came to Jesus and made Him aware of the impending doom. I love the wording of His reply in the New Living Translation: “Dear woman, that’s not our problem…” (John 2:4a). I can imagine Mary giving Jesus that motherly raised eyebrow look (we’ve all gotten those from our moms before, right?). She didn’t even respond to Him. She simply looked at some nearby guys in the catering group and said, “Just do whatever He tells you to do.” Mary knew Jesus would do something. She had FAITH.
If Mary and Jesus had not been invited to that wedding then it would have ended in disaster. There are elements in our lives that would have ended in disaster had we not had the right people intricately woven into our lives. They were there because we invited them in.
Bishop Jimmy Whitfield once said something to this effect, “As long as there is a devil and he’s alive and roaming free, there is going to be crisis somewhere down the road.” That’s very true. So, who are you inviting into your life’s circles to help you in the day of crisis; not ‘if’ but ‘WHEN’ it comes?