Monday, November 12, 2007

Crazy For Samantha

I never grow weary of watching my kids use their God-given talents!! This past weekend, we had another opportunity to be delighted, as we watched Samantha sing and dance and make the audience laugh as part of the cast of Grove City College's musical production of Crazy For You.

It always blows me away to hear her sing! She has such a unique and beautiful voice. In this production, she played the part of Irene, and really showed off her acting ability as well. Her character personna was very different from the real Sam, and she really pulled it off exceptionally well! I marvel at how Samantha has blossomed into such a lovely, muti-faceted, talented young woman.

The musical was high-energy, funny, and clever. Everyone was superb! Samantha's roommate, Kaitlin did an amazing job choreographing the entire show. And, there was a LOT of dancing!! This photo is of Samantha (in her red dress) and Kaitlin, after Friday evening's performance!!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Weddings, Part Deux

I've read that our bodies are comprised of about 75% water (give or take, depending on body fat). I've also read that our bodies were fashioned from the earth... around our house, that's mostly clay. So, is it much of a stretch to say that we are big clay pots filled with water??

I'm still thinking about weddings, and still pondering that one so long ago at Cana, at which Jesus and his friends were guests. This is the first of many stories that suggest Jesus was welcome in the midst of people having a fun time. I'll bet he loved weddings!!

However, the 'good time' at this particular wedding was in jeopardy. They ran out of wine. I've read that wine was a rabbinical symbol of joy, and also scripturally symbolic of the influence of the Holy Spirit. So, they weren't just concerned with washing down that dry cake with something. Joy was gone. Spiritual life had taken a hit. So, it is particularly significant that Jesus was the One to fix it.

John 2:6-8 says, Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.

Jesus took the clay jars full of water (us), and transformed them into vessels of joy. In the midst of the wedding celebration, He symbolically gave new life, better life, filled with His Spirit. The old ceremonial washing water was somehow transposed into good wine. The old way of doing things, the old covenant, was made into a new covenant. This event marked the onset of His public ministry, of the path set for our Salvation, and the ultimate Wedding Supper written about in Revelation 19:9.

The wedding master of ceremony tasted the new wine, and he proclaimed... you've kept the good wine until now! God's timing often escapes our understanding. But it's always worth the wait.

John also says that his pals saw this, and they believed. If they were wondering what was so special about this guy, they now had some inside information. It's my guess that the symbolism may have been evident to them as well. God does something great in our lives, and our faith, and joy, is renewed.

I love weddings!!

Friday, November 2, 2007


With the upcoming wedding of our daughter, and also due to the fact that Bruce & I are leading a weekly class on marriage enrichment at our church, I've been digging through the Bible, reading passages concerning marriage... seeing what I might be able to midrash.

One of my favorites is in the Gospel of John (2:1-11), the wedding feast at Cana. This is reported to be the first public miracle Jesus performed. John says that it occurred 'on the third day', giving it an almost unspoken spiritual significance. We're told right off the bat the wine was gone, which was a serious social disgrace in a society known to value hospitality.

Jesus' mother told Him about the problem (a prayer). And she left it up to Him how to fix the problem. He cared about it because it was important to her, and to the wedding host. I even speculate that the wedding involved a family member or someone close the the family, because Mary not only was in on the 'secret', but had the authority to instruct the servants to do whatever He tells you to do. Jesus didn't make a big deal about it, and while He could've done it, like..."Poof! Oh, look, here's more wine!"... He instead used men as vessels to connect Heavenly resources to Earthly needs. He didn't pray any eloquent speech or even touch anything. Somehow, beyond understanding, He just provided.

Jesus told the servants, who likely knew of the problem, to take some of the stone pots which were used for ceremonial washing and fill them with water. Wash water! They must have had some expectation, because it says they filled them to the brim... as much as they could fit. Then, He told them to take a cup of it to the master of ceremony... probably a risky thing if the cup still contained water.

But somewhere between their obedience, and the taste test, something suddenly happened. Jesus miraculously turned the wash water into good wine. I've heard it said, "Obey God, and leave the consequences to Him." I've been telling myself that a lot lately as I pondered this passage. Mary surely knew Jesus could do something... He even said to her, "... you know my time has not yet come...". Yet, regardless of what she knew, she trusted that He was compassionate, generous, and willing and able to help.

As I am involved in helping with the planning of this upcoming wedding celebration, I've been doing a lot of praying. I am intentionally not telling God how to answer my prayers. Small acts of obedience and faith have been leading us step-by-step to men and women whom He has tapped to fill the pots with water. And I have been blessed out of my socks, time and again, to witness His provision as we obey, and we see Heavenly resources meet our needs.