Thursday, April 2, 2015

“Why Do You Involve Me?” – II.” When Jesus Asks”

“Why Do You Involve Me?” – II.” When Jesus Asks”

A Sermon by John A. Dalles

January 11, 2015

Ps 29 - John 2:1-11

Don’t’ get involved….!

That kind of advice is given out often.  You hear a sound in the night that does not sound right.  You see someone who may or may not need help.  You watch as someone is trying to do something and you know that there is a simpler way or better way to do it.  But then someone says…  Don’t’ get involved….!  Is it a protective instinct…?

          Back in September, “The Guardian”, gave eight reasons why people don’t get involved…

1.     I’m not sure I want to make the commitment

2.     I have nothing to offer

3.     It’s too much work already

4.     I won’t know anybody there

5.     I don’t like this or that person who is there already

6.     I’m not like the others in the group

7.     People might think I am a hypocrite

8.     I don’t want to feel grandiose or unrealistic (or both).

Perhaps you have felt one or more of those things when the choice has been placed before you to get involved.  It is understandable.  It is something that many people feel at one time or the other, and sometimes these reasons outweigh the reasons to become involved.

 I find it fascinating that most of the articles out there about why one would get involved have to do with being part of a community such as a school or college (or, yes, a church).  It may seem obvious but getting involved means being in relationship with other people.  There are very few organizations that have only one member, very few school teams or activities that have only one participant.  Getting involved means interrelating with others.

Some people find this harder than others.  They think of themselves as natural born introverts, or painfully shy or people who prefer solitude.  You remember how Henry Higgins was, he boasted that he liked an atmosphere as restful as an undiscovered tomb…  We think it somewhat curious and odd.  But that is what he said.  Then again you never know just how much you might enjoy, or contribute, or change things for the better, if you get involved.  The sooner you involve yourself you will become connected to the rest of the community and explore the practicality for your skills.

Becoming involved places you in a group of leaders. You do not have to hold a leadership position in the club or organization to consider yourself a leader. Take time, research, go to events and activities sponsored by the clubs, and make your decision.

Getting involved may very well benefit you...  You may make new friends.  You may learn a new skill.  You may open new doors.  You may enrich your life.  You may find a new path in life.

When you get involved, you may have a group that will help you adheres to your deeply held beliefs, your earnest interests, the values that you treasure, the things that hold your attention.  In fact, if there is not something out there that addressee these, you may even start one.

Why? Getting involved will give you leadership opportunities.  It may help you grow in your vocation; make you more marketable in the world.  You may also learn some essential skills such as; time management; running effective meetings; and goal setting, just to name a few.

When do you get involved? Now.  There’s no time like the present.

One person said it this way:  "I knew I would only get out as much as I put in, so I decided to get involved."  

 All of this is pretty straightforward.  It fits in the setting of the church, and it fits in the larger settings of life.  I dare say that many of these good reasons have caused our new deacons and new elders to say yes when the Nominating Committee asked them to set aside some of their time and energies to get involved in theses ways at Wekiva.  We are grateful they did.

Does it sound a bit odd when we come across Jesus in the early days of his ministry, asking the question…“Why Do You Involve Me?”

Jesus and his disciples are at a wedding.  We make much of this when we have a wedding in the church because we gather from his presence there that he blessed the bride and groom, and their intentions, and their vows, by his very presence.  We know Jesus to have been a person of the utmost integrity—he would not have gone had he had any reservations whatsoever. 

We also gather from this that Jesus liked to be in the company of others in what we might call his leisure time.  His recreational time.  If he took a day off, and we do not know whether he did or not, then he could have done with it whatever he wanted.  Tinkered in the carpentry shop, going fishing, going for a stroll on the beach, what have you.  On this day, Jesus chose to go to a wedding, where there would be the solemn ceremony and where there would be a celebration.  We like knowing this about Jesus.  We see some of the human side of our Lord, in this.  We think of him as the unseen guest at every wedding.  Any bride or groom would have been glad to have had him as the very visible guest on that day.

There is a problem.  There has been too little ordered or too much celebrating, not sure which but the wine ran out before the guests were ready to go home.  Mary heard of it.  She told Jesus about it.  And in telling him, the implication was, “I know that you can do something about it.”

The great truth of Mary’s confidence in Jesus, is that she was exactly correct.  When something is wrong, Jesus CAN do something about it.  We find it over and over again in the bible.  Someone is ill, and the doctors say they have done all they can, and then here comes Jesus.  And we think: “Here’s someone who can help!”

Our sense of hopefulness is renewed.  Our sense of expectation is heightened. Our sense of relief is so strong we can almost taste it.  So we turn to Jesus in prayer.  Daily.  On Sundays, at other times, and yes, especially in emergency situation.  Just as his mother turned to him.  We turn to him and we pray for his help.  We would not know that if we didn’t think that Jesus could make a difference. He can.  When something is wrong, Jesus CAN do something about it. 

What Jesus does is behind the scenes.  It is not one of those out on the dance floor moves.  No the reception is going on, and people are moving about, having their meal, getting acquainted or reacquainted.  It is long enough into the party that there are no latecomers.  So out in the vestibule where the water jugs for washing away the dust of the road are stored, what Jesus does happens without much attention.

We’ve heard how it happened. The water was turned to wine by Jesus’ intentional action.  It was his first miracle anywhere in scripture.  His very first.  We can ponder that a moment.  His first miracle was not one that fed thousands, nor gave sight to the blind or cured the incurables from their disease, it was not walking on water… it was water into wine.  For the simple purpose of allowing the happy people at the wedding reception to enjoy the day.

Miracles that let us enjoy the day are all round us every day.  We have them happen so often that we do not think it miracles that the sun comes up.  But in the back of our minds we know that God made it happen.  God sent the blue skies, the small songbirds that sing at dawn, and the rosy hues that change to bright sunny yellows, the stillness of the air… 

And all through the day, other miracles come our way, that we might have missed and we might have taken for granted.  I dare say that most of the people at any wedding reception give very little thought indeed about where the food and wine comes from, who did the catering, unless they are planning such an event in the near future.  If all is as it should be, they simply enjoy it.  And so it is with the miracle of a day that God gives to us.  We simply enjoy it.  And for God, that is almost appreciation enough.  If we at the end of the day that we have enjoyed take time to tell God we did, and to thank God, then that is all the better.

Why do we involve Jesus?  Mary involved Jesus because:

a.     She cared about people

b.     She knew that Jesus could help

Those seem like wonderful reasons to involve Jesus.  On special occasions.  Or on ordinary days.  After all—every moment God gives to us is a special occasion.

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