This has been a challenging year for my daughters and oldest niece. Raising kids in a pandemic, challenges at work, pregnancy (twins, no less!), illnesses, graduate school … you name it, they overcame it. I bought them matching candles for Christmas this year that said, ”She thought she could, so SHE DID.” I admire the persistence, tenacity, and downright stubbornness of these young women.
When I look at the young moms in my congregation negotiating the same troubled waters, I am in awe of all of them. Motherhood in a pandemic ain’t for sissies. I see you, young sisters, and you ROCK.
I was delighted to find that today’s lectionary passage is a homage to mothers who cajole, instruct, love ferociously, don’t take no for an answer, and are righteously ”pushy” when it comes to their children. Jesus had such a mom:
John 2 (The Message)
1-3 Three days later there was a wedding in the village of Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there. Jesus and his disciples were guests also. When they started running low on wine at the wedding banquet, Jesus’ mother told him, “They’re just about out of wine.”
4 Jesus said, “Is that any of our business, Mother—yours or mine? This isn’t my time. Don’t push me.”
Of all the translations we could use today, The Message is definitely the most fun. Imagine the son giving his assertive mother the side eye-and saying, ”Don’t push me.” How many times do mothers hear that? When we are signing our kids up for sports, running along behind the bike without the training wheels, neck deep in the pool with our arms outstretched yelling, ”Jump! I’ll catch you!” we are often met with resistance. Don’t push me. But we go ahead anyway. Why? Because most of the time, mother knows best.
5 She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, “Whatever he tells you, do it.”
Mary succeeds in blowing past all of Jesus’ resistance, hesitation, and objections. “Pfffft,” she says. “This is happening. You may not believe in yourself, but I DO.”
Have you every been there with your child? It is our job to get them through those ‘first day of school’ jitters, the fear of getting their shots, the scariness of the soccer field, driving a car for the first time, the separation anxiety that we feel even more than they do … parents have a high calling to be ”pushy” for the sake of their kids.
6-7 Six stoneware water pots were there, used by the Jews for ritual washings. Each held twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus ordered the servants, “Fill the pots with water.” And they filled them to the brim.
8 “Now fill your pitchers and take them to the host,” Jesus said, and they did.
And so because his mother believed in him, Jesus performed the first miracle.
9-10 When the host tasted the water that had become wine (he didn’t know what had just happened but the servants, of course, knew), he called out to the bridegroom, “Everybody I know begins with their finest wines and after the guests have had their fill brings in the cheap stuff. But you’ve saved the best till now!”
11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
We can’t underscore the importance of this moment. This first sign of his glory enabled his disciples to believe in him. This first miracle paved the way for many more to come … miracles of feeding, miracles of healing, and eventually, miracles of resurrection. All because Mary believed first.
So moms and dads, keep believing in your kids. Keep pushing. Keep persisting. Don’t stop when they object, hide behind your leg, or say no. You know what is best, and because you believe, they will come to believe also. When you think they can, they will.
So go ahead anyway.