Friday Morning Devotion – 2/16/07 (Having Fun)

1Three days later there was a wedding in Cana, Galilee, and Jesus’ mother was there. 2Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding. 3And they ran out of wine, and Jesus’ mother told him that they didn’t have any more wine. 4Jesus said to her, “What does that have to do with us, woman? My time hasn’t come yet!” 5His mother told the servers, “Whatever he says, do it!” 6Now there were six stone water jars there, used for the Jewish ceremonial washing, each one of which could hold 20 gallons or so. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8And he said to them, “Now draw some out and carry it to the master of the feast.” So they took some to him. 9Now when the master of the feast tasted the water which had become wine, he didn’t know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water did) he called the bridegroom, 10and said to him, “Everybody serves the good wine first, and when people are drunk, the poorer wine, but you have kept the good wine till now.” 11Jesus did this first sign in Cana of Galilee and revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him. — John 2:1-11

Are you the kind of person that people invite to parties? Do people enjoy being around you? Are you fun? I have to confess to not being that much of a “people” person. Jody is. She delights in being around people and is refreshed by social contact. She has taught me a great deal about having fun, even though she may think it has been largely a thankless task!

But I’m not talking just about a matter of personality. I’m interested in how being a Christian impacts our life. There’s a traditional view of the truly spiritual person, one who spends lots of time fasting, hours at a time in prayer, isolated from people with only God for company. Many of our heroes of the faith have given up everything so that they could spend all their time preaching the gospel. We congratulate them for their dedication to the Lord, but very few of us would invite them to a party. We think it might be too secular for them. Perhaps they would disapprove of our entertainment.

But I suspect that we would mostly be afraid that they would look pityingly on us from the heights of their perfect spiritual dedication, and pray that we would learn to spend more time on serious matters, and a bit less time on frivolities like parties. That is, if they didn’t just find a good reason not to attend at all.

But if Jesus is our example, we see him here, in John’s gospel, starting his ministry at a wedding reception, with wine, no less. He and his disciples were invited. It doesn’t say why, but obviously the host didn’t think Jesus would show up like a wet blanket and extinguish all the fun of the wedding reception. Mary didn’t have any qualms about it. She apparently knew, when she reported that the wine had run out, that Jesus wouldn’t just say, “Good! The folks here are getting a bit too elevated as it is!” She was comfortable asking him to do something about it.

While there is deep spiritual meaning in the various elements of this story and in the miracle Jesus chose to perform, I’d like us to see something a bit less intense—a bit shallower, perhaps! Jesus had fun. He enjoyed himself. He liked to see other people enjoying themselves.

There are times to be serious, times to fast and dedicate yourself to spiritual things. But not all the time. Sometimes you have to relax and have fun. Remember that just as when you pray, study the Bible, fast, or meditate, you’re following the example of Jesus when you have fun.

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