Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Day 2: John chapter 2

When it comes to reading the Bible, especially if I'm reading it on the computer screen, I'm really bad at staying focused. My mind or my eyes jump around to just about everything else*except* what I'm trying to read, or I just gloss over the reading and don't really soak it in.

This is definitely a discipline in making sure that I only fall into bed each night if I have read some of God's word -- so often, my pillow looks VERY tempting, especially after a day of substitute teaching for students who are ready to be done with school!

2:1-10 (Jesus Changes Water to Wine)
Mary wanted to see her son perform a miracle--maybe it's a mom thing (not that I would know). "Come on, Jesus, do a miracle! Show everyone that you're the Christ!" Jesus didn't want to, or at least, He said His time had not yet come. Yet his (proud) momma trapped him into getting involved.

Even then Jesus didn't just make more wine appear with a snap of his fingers, or with a single word, as easy as that could be. He involved the servants by issuing a couple commands that were probably things they had done at other times--filling the jars with water, and taking (what would usually be) water to the master. That reminds me of the passage where Peter and the others were fishing all night long, catching nothing, but then Jesus told them, "Cast down your nets on the other side of the boat." An ordinary task, one they might have already tried.

Hmm...also, these water jars were used for ceremonial washing, which means they were probably not used for drinking, and probably came into contact with unclean people or items. (I'm not sure, though.) An ordinary jar, used in every day life.

Both of these "ordinary" instances led to extraordinary works/uses by God, resulting in a great catch or the best wine. Isn't it great how God uses the not-so-great for His purposes, even when we wonder how God could use us, what expertise we have, etc.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians)

2:13-16 (Jesus clears the Temple)
Jesus cleared out those who were trying to earn money from God's commands, and not simply enjoy His presence. This is the contrast between *doing* and *being*--when you're in someone's house, you usually focus on just being with them, or if you're helping them, it's so that you can spend more time with them.

I know that sometimes I have gotten caught up in trying to DO ministry, to oversee it or to try and be doing something at any given moment, rather than just spending time with the people that are within that ministry and to focus on building relationships. Or, I focus on the act of reading God's word and not on drawing closer to Him.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

I'm so glad you're blogging this journey! I love the way you process what you read. It's fun to get a glimpse into your mind :) I can certainly relate about the difference between applying and reading the Bible. I remember doing a paper in grad school about Acts. I had read the book a billion times. i'd marked parts of the passage. I read up on the history blah blah blah. And I did it all JUST to write a paper on it. Driving to school, I realized I had in no way tried to apply it to my life.

Another thing I thought of when you wrote about Mary pushing Jesus to do something, the water and wine miracle, the fish in the boat, etc is the weight of expectation Jesus, and his followers, experienced. For me, the weight of expectation can feel suffocating and I start to lose heart. This passage reminds me they probably did just a bit too. Because the story is so concise in written form, I forget about the time leading up to the miracle when people were, most likely, beginning to waver a bit in their hope. Timing was so pivotal in all that. Mary didn't get it, and I don't get it either, but timing is crucial. And the wait is worth it. Yay for glasses, and hearts, and nets overflowing :)