What a party. Days of eating, drinking, singing and dancing then Jesus provides more, and better, wine! After writing a poetic, deeply theological introduction about Jesus’ divinity, John begins the story of Jesus’ life with a party. His point: Jesus lived to bring human joy – even when it seemed impossible. Especially when it seemed impossible! God will accomplish human happiness in a way that common sense says won’t happen. John seems to say, I know you’re going to find this story improbably, even fantastic. Open your minds; even more, open your hearts. Trust God to surprise you.
It isn’t doubt or even hostility that most hobbles Christianity; it’s lack of imagination. Too many of us simply can’t imagine a world different from what we’ve known. Our experiences of how things have been set the parameters of how we believe things can be. If we ask ourselves what we put more stock in, Jesus’ promise of God’s Reign or our assumptions about human nature, most of us choose our assumptions about human nature. What’s more, even though we profess that God has a different vision, we label our assumptions realism. That’s certainly understandable; it’s also certainly not faith.
So John begins his narrative of Jesus by recounting his impossible rescue of someone’s party.
God’s loving presence is more immediate and more intimate than we imagine. God can and will accomplish things through us that we deem impossible. Only our assumptions stand in God’s way.
When we’re reflecting on the strength of our faith, the best place to begin isn’t with the our acceptance of the doctrine of the Trinity or Jesus’ Real Presence in Communion or Papal infallibility: it’s with our assumptions about what’s possible for humans to accomplish in God’s Spirit and what size bet we’re willing to make on Jesus’ promise.