REPOSTToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought, first posted on December 13, 2016, is written by Tina Hsu who serves as AMI missions coordinator. Tina, a graduate of Biola University (BA) and Talbot School of Theology (M.Div.), recently became a mom to a beautiful boy named Zachary. Congratulations.
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Belonging to a Community”
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; 2and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. 7Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim. 8And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him. 9When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, 10and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.” 11This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
In your small group, would you say you are vulnerable about your struggles? It takes great courage to be vulnerable. We may not be vulnerable for fear of feeling shame.
At the wedding in Cana, the shortage of wine was not simply a beverage issue; it was a shame issue. In the honor and shame culture of Jesus’ day, lack of wine at a wedding banquet exposed the married couple and their families to public shame. By turning water into wine, Jesus saved the married couple from public shame. He allowed them to receive honor from the host and their guests. Though His hour had not yet come (2:4), He provided an unbelievable gift for this married couple. For Jesus to save one married couple from social shame was a small thing compared to what He would provide when His hour did come.
In light of “the hour” that was coming, Jesus knew He came to wipe away the shame of humanity. When His hour did come, He went to the cross, took our shame upon Himself, and suffered crucifixion, a shameful death. As the Word who had became flesh, He didn’t come to attain honor. Rather, Jesus came to bear our shame so we could have the honor of being children of God – fully approved and forgiven by God. The issue is, we as believers often remain bound in shame, fearing disapproval and rejection. We fear that if we are fully seen for our sins and weaknesses, we will no longer be worthy of love and acceptance from God, or from people. We miss out on the freedom that Christ purchased for us, and often cut ourselves off from community.
The beauty of genuine fellowship is the sense of belonging. Everyone matters! Fellowship is a safe place where we can share honestly and heal from shame and brokenness as we surround one another with prayer and encouragement. Ask the Lord to help you commit to belonging to your small group and to also minister to your brothers and sisters as they openly share their lives with you.
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, thank You that I share the honor of being your beloved child with my brothers and sisters. Thank You for reminding me that I can’t grow spiritually on my own. Help me to humbly and courageously share my life with the community You have given me. Thank You that You have also called me to minister to my brothers and sisters. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: John 4