Just over a week ago, I had the privilege of traveling in Israel and walking in many of the places where Jesus walked during his earthly ministry.
Early in the trip we visited a church built at the supposed site of Jesus' first miracle. At a wedding in Cana, when the celebratory wine ran out, Jesus turned the water in six large stone jars into wine for the wedding guests.
Not just any old cheap wine, but "the best" wine as the scriptures tell us. You can read the account in John 2:1-11.
Usually at this stage of a wedding celebration, the poorer quality wines were served, for drunken celebrators wouldn't appreciate fine wine in their state. It's notable that Jesus provided top quality wine.
Jesus served the best wine first. In fact, he served only the best wine. He poured out the best of his affection freely to all he encountered.
Jesus did not keep himself in reserve, in any way. Standing in the location of his first miracle, I found myself pondering on how people often keep themselves and their belongings in tight reserve.
My father-in-law was always known for the meticulous care with which he treated his cars. From the day he bought a car, he'd install towels on the headrests, armrests, and seats in his new automobile. Those towels would never be removed until he sold the car and bought a new one. Never did he, or anyone else, see or sit in the car without its protective coverings.
Was he saving the car for a better trade-in deal? What motivated him to keep his cars so close to perfection? Why couldn't he just use the car and enjoy it as is?
Sometimes I think we save ourselves from other people too. We cautiously bestow our affection to others in only tiny droplets. Many of us measure other people's performance before we fully open up our hearts to them.
In a sense, we hold back. We serve the cheap wine, not the good stuff.
Thinking about Jesus in combination with my recollections of Cana is challenging me today. I want to freely serve my "best wine." I want to be more like Jesus and generously pour out the best of myself to all I encounter.
How about you? Are you serving your "best?"