The guests kept coming, and I kept mixing. Smiling. Laughing at their antics. Letting the joy and the energy and the music seep into my blood and my hands as I worked.
I wasn’t alone. My teammates mixed with the crowd, clad in unassuming black and white, balancing hors d’oeuvres and avoiding elbows, a study in grace and the art of disappearing in plain sight.
The bride and groom arrived. We laid dinner before the guests, each plate a work of art. Toasts rang out—words that spoke of life-long friendship, love, of struggle and strength. And of the deep connections our hearts can form when given half a chance and a whole lot of grace.
The night lived on. Corks filled the trash can at my feet, and my pile of empty bottles grew. I stopped mixing cocktails at the pre-planned hour—but then the beer ran out. The crowd dwindled. The music slowed.
As the night drifted toward its end, all I had left was water and wine.
Two thousand years and half a world away, another wedding ran out of supplies. The party was far from over, but the wine was dipping closer to its dregs. The servers were trying to be stingy, but still watched their stock dwindle with alarming swiftness. Their hospitality, with the goal of abundance, was about to grind to a sudden and mortifying halt.
It was the first century A.D. I didn’t attend that party (obviously). Jesus did.
The fear of the servers had reached the ears of his mother, Mary, and she knew the solution instantly. Jesus could provide. Her faith never hesitated. And so he honored her trust by turning approximately five hundred liters of water into the best wine anyone had ever tasted.
Jesus didn’t just provide. Oh, my love, no. He broke the very laws of the world, of the scarcity that holds our hearts to death and moves our hands to violence. Heaven walked those floors and Eden overflowed in that house for one impossible night, making eyes widen and heads spin with the irrational goodness of it all.
The guests delighted in it. The master of the feast marveled at what he thought was the groom’s wealth and fine taste. But the ones who bore the full weight of Jesus’ power and glory that night were the ones whom no one else saw. The servers.
I can see the back room of that house in Cana, a rough-hewn table surrounded by workers. Tired feet, aching shoulders. Watching as someone pours the water-turned-wine into crude cups. Tentative sips, marveling. Tasting the goodness of their Master’s immeasurable love.
A few years later, that same Master poured himself out on a cross.
A law-breaker, taking the rules and ruler of this world and crushing them under his feet. A winepress, trampled and overflowing high as a horse’s bridle. Eden on earth again. Water and blood, washing us clean.
Love unrestrained, over-abundant.
This is my Master, who tells me to give lavishly without thought of loss, to see those who are used to being unseen, to serve freely and excessively and absolutely without reservation. Cup after cup, full and good and satisfying—confronting, with grace, a world afraid of running out.
Have no fear, my love. This wedding is in the hands of a Lover who knows no lack, no limit. He has washed your feet, he has set the banquet table before you, he has filled your cup to overflowing.