When the fun winds down

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”
- John 2:3
Running out of wine at a wedding celebration would have been a big deal. The bride and groom would have been shamed by this failure. Did they not plan well enough? Did they not allocate their resources properly? Didn’t they understand their duty to host the party well?
The celebration would have ground to a halt. People would grumble. Some might leave. Eventually a wedding guest would pick up the tab and go and purchase more wine (this is what some commentators think Mary was trying to get Jesus to do). The newly-married couple would carry the embarrassment of this failure for years.
This happens sometimes with celebrations. The fun just winds down. The party runs out of steam. The cell phones come out and football comes on the big screen. Conversation and connection and celebration fade. The nostalgic among us cling to the moments just passed, trying to keep the ball rolling a little longer. And then it’s over.
This same pattern appears in relationships, in our spiritual lives, with our work, and even with our hobbies. The things we do for fun don’t always remain fun. There a spiritual force at work in the world to slowly reduce the decibels on every joyful noise. You need to know that that’s not Jesus.
Jesus kept the party going. He infused new life, new energy, and new wine into a dying party … even as he does the same with us. His opponents accused him of being “a glutton and a drunkard” for his behavior. And we have to admit that we at times find ourselves uncomfortable with his participation in this bacchanalian moment.
How does your relationship with Jesus shape the way you celebrate? Where do you experience feelings of guilt or exhaustion around celebration? What would change in your life if Jesus gave you freedom and energy to participate fully in this season of celebration?

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