Weekly Devotional: Choice Wine (9 in Sabbath and Rest series)

“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” John 2:1–12

For a giggle (but sometimes a horrified gasp), check out these wedding failures to see a host of videos in which the unexpected happens, such as tripping on high heels or other cringe-inducing accidents. Jesus saved the day in such a situation back when wedding feasts could have lasted a week. I love that his first miracle as marked in John’s gospel was to redeem a wedding from failure.

The story may be familiar – the host ran out of wine, which would have been a reprehensible oversight in ancient times when hospitality was prized. The feast had been occurring for some time; perhaps Jesus and his disciples were invited at the last minute – adding to the shortage of wine. He reveals himself as Lord over creation as he changes the water into wine. No cheap boxed wine either – this was the best vintage, in abundance. As the master of the banquet said with incredulity, “You’ve saved the best for now.”

I wanted to include this passage in our engagement with Sabbath and rest because so often we don’t connect a good party with as a means of practicing rest. We might have inherited a view of the Sabbath as a time of no smiles or loud laughter, thinking that our party behavior won’t fall in line with what is holy. But where do we get these ideas from? After all, Jesus knew how to feast and make merry. He wanted people to enjoy themselves, celebrating the beauty of two lives coming together as one.

In prayer, ask the Lord if there’s a party or other social gathering that you could plan or host. How could this occasion, set aside to celebrate and give thanks, lead to the worship of God? How could, as it’s blessing others, bring you blessing?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to celebrate fully, losing my worries as I look to you as the Master of the Dance. May I bring you glory and praise. Amen.

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