In one of our sessions with our wedding officiant he said something simple, yet very profound that I want to share with you all. Marriage is a miracle! He went on to expound on the symbolism of Jesus performing a miracle (his first recorded miracle at that) at the wedding at Cana. He talked about how the act symbolically represented the miracle found in the act of marriage itself. As I began to read and reflect on this passage found in the second chapter of the Book of John, I realized that a greater miracle was present and at work in this account. If we focus too much on the fact that He turned water into wine we will miss the miracle that I feel is most important: the miracle found in the fact that Jesus never RSVP’d for the wedding. “What you talkin’ about, Brother John?” I’m glad you asked that. I ask your indulgence for a few moments as we consider the topic, “When Jesus Doesn’t RSVP.”
I Need A Count!
By far, one of the most frustrating things in the wedding planning process is getting folks to RSVP. Folks don’t realize that RSVPs are necessary to get a proper count for food and beverages. It is quite embarrassing to have people show up and run out of food. The craziest thing about our experience was that there were people that we KNEW who were coming to the wedding who had not RSVP’d. We even had people in our wedding party who never sent in their RSVPs! After that experience, I’m going to be one the most RSVPin’est jokers y’all know. Try me. Send me an invitation and you might get that bad boy back before you drop it in your mailbox. I used to be slack with it, but now I have a new found respect for the importance of an RSVP.
…and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.”-John 2:2-3
One thing we can’t miss in this wedding at Cana passage is the fact that Jesus is a non-RSVP’er. The narrative tells us that there is a wedding taking place in which the mother of Jesus is a participant. Then it adds an addendum. Paraphrased it says, “Oh yeah, and Jesus and his disciples were invited too.” Jesus and them must have been on the B list. Or they could have arrived at Cana too late to get their invitations to be able to RSVP. Either way, the form of the passage indicates that they weren’t in the original count and, even if they were, they did not RSVP. Why is this important? The fact that Jesus and them showed up caused the wedding celebration to run out of wine. “How do you know that Brother John?”
Look at the passage. The very first person that Mary goes to about the wine shortage is Jesus. All those folks at the wedding and she asks Jesus, “What cha gone do?” Now I know you are saying, “But it’s Jesus…I would ask Him too.” You have to remember, Jesus had not performed one miracle before this point in John’s Gospel. Mary had no “miracle precedent” to go by. She did know one thing though. Jesus had not RSVP’d. In Jewish culture, it was the responsibility of the wedding guests to bring wine to the wedding. Implicit in this account is the fact that Jesus had his boys had not done so. So Mary scurried on across the room to those responsible for the shortage and said, “They have no wine.”
There have been times in my life when Jesus didn’t RSVP. I’ve invited Him into all types of situations in my life. Invitations to secure a job, invitations to fix a relationship, invitations to provide guidance in particular decision making processes. Day in and day out, I’d check my spiritual mailbox for something. No RSVP. The most frustrating part is that, like the members of our wedding party, I KNOW He’s going to show up. But, I need a count!!! I need to know in advance. I don’t need any surprises. I want to go the safe route.
Have you ever felt like you’ve gone through this process with God? Sending out invitations to intervene, with no RSVP. Let me tell you why Jesus is an exception to the rule:
The fact that the wedding was ill prepared for Jesus’ presence created a need for a miracle!
Please don’t miss that. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but you have to realize that the perceived shortage in Mary’s life made way for abundance. Is there a shortage in your life? A shortage of answers? Finances? You might feel like Jesus hasn’t RSVP’d. You might be like me, somebody who has to have all his/her ducks in a row. You need a count! Time is getting short.
Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to get up. I want you step away from the invitations/issues that are piling up on your floor. I want to walk you over to the window (of your soul), point to the horizon, and show you something very peculiar. Over that horizon is a silhouette of a figure who has known about your shortage before you’ve even experienced it. In fact, this figure realizes that there is a necessity that the shortage occur for Him to operate and get the glory. Of course He hasn’t RSVP’d, but in reality He’s the ultimate Bridegroom, so no reply is necessary. This figure carries with Him the answers to every prayer/issue that you need. The problem is…you want Him here now. You aren’t satisfied with seeing him “from afar.” I love older church folks. They possess the ability to express their experiences in simple, yet poignant ways. The old church mother used to put it like this: “He may not come when you want Him…But He’ll be there right on time…He’s an on time God, Yes He is.” I encourage you to change your perspective on Jesus’ non-RSVP to your situation. This does nothing more than create an opportunity for Him to perform the miraculous in your life. You may be experiencing a shortage, but abundance is on the horizon. Many blessings to you all and know that God has already prepared an answer to your prayer/request. It may take longer than you’d like, but it will be miraculous and it will blow your mind. This is precisely what happens, “When Jesus Doesn’t RSVP.”