Living in a small rural community has its pros and cons. For one thing everybody knows everyone, and everyone knows everything about everybody. There are busybodies and nobodies, and people who think they are somebodies. When something happens to somebody everybody talks about it and sometimes the truth isn’t even in the middle; but it made for interesting conversation on the porch on a Saturday night. And sometimes makes for interesting prayer requests on Sunday morning. That’s rural community in a nutshell. Everybody knows just enough about everything to be dangerous, but we’re still community, at least for now.
Rural community is at risk of becoming a victim of the global community. The information highway has opened portals to wild and exotic places that can make community look very routine. Families have lost focus of one another and smartphones having stolen their lives. Color me guilty. It wasn’t until I read an article, (yes it was online) about a recent murder in San Francisco, where multiple times prior to shooting and killing a young man, a video camera caught the murderer as he brandished and pointed his weapon at others on the train unnoticed. No one noticed until he fired a fatal shot.
And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there: And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
So what does the wedding of Cana have to do with a murder on a train in San Francisco?
Family and Community.
Jesus and the disciples had been invited to the wedding for which Mary is keenly aware of the orchestration of the event. When the wine was running empty it was she who brought the news to Jesus. I have to wonder if she had not seen Him perform a miracle or two before. Surely He had practiced and she was His mother after all. Do you suppose? Anyway…back to my point. Jesus was all about the community. He was where they were. He wasn’t hold up in room somewhere.
He was among them.
He celebrated their victories, He came to their house for dinner, and He was at the festivals and fairs. Community was important to Him and it should be to us. Church is of great importance, but a family dinner or event has a place in our lives. And while we’re there the phones should be put away and our focus on those around us.
He was aware of them
His mother brought the need for wine to His attention and you get the feeling He scolded her somewhat when he said Woman, what have I to do with thee? I don’t get the feeling it was in anger but more as one of those conversations between Mother and Child, “Really Mom, you want me to do that here?” mine hour is not yet come. He wasn’t ready to divulge that He was Lord, but she knew. Perhaps she’d watched Him practice.
He was accountable for them
The wine may have seemed like a trivial thing, but it was important to the community. There could have possibly been shame on the bridegroom for not having prepared adequately for the event. Shame that they spoke about for months down the line, you know how small communities are. But Jesus took care of it. They’d be talking about this party for months to come but not for shame, for glory!
Jesus was all about community! I hope this weekend you’ll spare a little time for your community. Put the cell phone away, call a few friends, go to someone’s house for dinner or invite them into yours. Be among them, be aware of them, and make yourself accountable to see that small community lives on.