To draw upon an 18th century Scottish poem, made famous in the classic novella of John Steinbeck: “The best laid plans of mice and men / Oft’ go astray …” Now, me thinks thar is no better way to describe this sage insight than a Wedding!! Right? Think about all those best laid plans: 1) choosing the date and the perfect dress; 2) the design and color of the bridesmaids’ gowns, the tuxes, saying nothing of the candles; 3) designing the invitations; 4) which florist to work with; 5) the music and musicians; 6) the cake; 7) booking the reception and what food will we be served. (“You know, Aunt Betty is now gluten-free and cousin Nick is a vegan.”) Am I forgetting anything? O, yes. The MOTB!!! That’s clergy code language for the “Mother Of The Bride.” Usually polite, reasonable, intelligent, and a sane human being. But put under the expectations of the “best laid plans” for the perfect wedding, and then they “go astray” …?
In the sermon for this coming weekend, I’ll share a geyser of a wedding story that is absolutely at the top of my 35 years of ministry list; that is, “when the best laid plans of mice and men, [did] go astray.” But…there’s one other wedding in history that can top it. And the one to do it was not the MOTB, or the wedding party, but a guest. A very special guest.
This weekend at worship we’ll bring the two stories together. We’ll hear from the MOTG, the “Mother Of The Guest” as plans go astray. And then the guest himself becomes the solution, the wine, as we hear the “I Do.” All the empty spaces of our lives filled-to-the-brim. And finally, it’s not only “till death do we part”…but actually, by the guest’s cross…“do we then truly start.” As Christ weds his life to ours. As we read in the concluding verse of the assigned Gospel text for this coming Sunday (please read John 2:1-11): “This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in[to] him” (v.11). May it be so, anew, for you.
“Come and see” (John 1:39a and 1:46b).
John R. Christopherson