Life has its disappointments. We have had great hopes only to have them ruined. Hopes for a friendship that ended in disaster, a marriage that resulted in divorce, a family that did not happen, a scholarship that was never granted, a business that was a failure. Even hopes for an enriching relationship with God and the Church that has not always worked out. Disappointments are difficult. They shake our confidence and sometimes cause us to wonder if we should ever hope again.
In the Gospel story of the wedding feast at Cana, the young couple was surely very disappointed. On their most important day they suffered the embarrassment of running short of refreshments for their guests. No doubt they were hoping that a beautiful celebration with fine food and choice wine would be a way of thanking family and friends for all their support. Now it looked like they were cheap and could not even bother to provide enough wine. Mary assessed the situation, and even though Jesus said he was not ready to step in, Mary trusted that he would do something. And he did. He turned the water into wine. Not just any wine, choice wine (John 2:1-11). Where there was once disappointment, hope had been revived. The couples’ shaky confidence regarding their future was restored by the loving presence of Jesus and Mary.
For some things in life, it is too late to restore what was damaged or lost. However, it is not too late for us to allow our trust in the power of Jesus’ presence with us to be restored. Our disappointments do not have to destroy us. The painful circumstances of our lives do not have to be stronger than the consoling presence of Jesus. Even though sometimes it may not feel like it, the transforming power of Jesus that turned water into fine wine is always with us. We like to pray for a change in life’s painful circumstances and that is alright. Too often that is all we pray for. Along with that prayer there needs to be trust that God’s saving presence is with us, even in the midst of disappointment.
Yes, there will be disappointments in the future. Jesus tells us to fill the jars of our lives to the brim now with hope in him and we will taste the choicest wine we have ever had. We will not be disappointed.
Together in faith,
The Very Rev. Christopher Smith, rector