These are words addressed to Jesus by his mother, Mary. They are at a wedding in Cana, nine miles north of Nazareth. Mary learns that the host has run out of wine and asks Jesus to remedy the situation. Though Jesus first protests that his time had not yet come, he accedes to his mother’s request as she presumes to instruct the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”
Jesus asks the servants to fill six large jars with water. He then tells them to draw some out and take it to the headwaiter. After the headwaiter had tasted the water that had been turned into wine, he exclaims to the bridegroom, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:1-11)
There is a common notion among some Christians that we should only seek God’s assistance in important matters and not bother him with practical every day needs. Situations involving life and death or economic calamity may qualify, but surely not replenishing the wine supply at a wedding party.
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did at the request of his mother. How reassuring it is that God should concern himself with a practical thing like a wedding party running out of wine. God places no restrictions on what we may bring to him in our requests. St. Paul says, “Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.” (Phil. 4:6)
As father of the bride and host of three of our daughters’ weddings, I would have been horrified if we had run out of wine. No doubt Mary was a close friend of the family hosting the wedding, and brought God’s mercy to bear through her son Jesus.
Over the years, my wife and I have brought all manner of requests to God, from mundane things like a parking place at a busy shopping center to the significant, like the healing of a daughter’s heart born with a hole between the ventricle chambers. We have prayed for where we should live, the health and well-being of our children and parents; good schools, good neighbors, good friends for our children and their future spouses; safety in travel, wisdom in our relationships, and that we would all come to know God more each day.
We should not forget that in his Lord’s Prayer, Jesus suggests that we pray each day for our daily bread. It is only natural that God, who created us in his image and likeness and entrusted us with taking care of his creation, would want to respond to our requests for the practical needs of life.
Do you pray for the practical needs in your life?