A recent sermon by Jim Cymbala of Brooklyn Tabernacle NYC grabbed my attention. In full disclosure, I frequently catch his sermons, I listen to his daily 8–10-minute devotion every morning. Cymbala stated there are reasons we do not see a supernatural move of the Holy Spirit in our churches. I thought it was because we’ve lost our first love, become compromising and totally inclusive. Maybe, but he takes his points from scripture.
Come to the wedding at Cana, Jesus’ first miracle on earth. Watch episode 5 of The Chosen for a modern look at the miracle but I always digress when I start writing about the Chosen. Pastor Cymbala said there are 3 specific things that happened in that miracle that we do not see happening today.
1. Jesus was invited. He wasn’t a wedding crasher, he didn’t just pop in. He was an invited guest at the wedding. He knew the bridal couple and he came to celebrate with them.
2. His mother approached him and stated the need. She didn’t ask him to do anything. She just told him the problem. She didn’t make any suggestions as to how he could fix this. Here’s the problem. Period.
3. His mother told the SERVANTS to do whatever they were told. Again, she didn’t tell Jesus what to do, she ordered others to follow his directions.
Every one of us would say Jesus is always invited into our services. We start with prayer every time. Of course, Jesus is invited into every service. Few of us would think Jesus was unwelcome in our services.
“Yes, Come on in, Jesus. Just one thing, we’re on a timetable here, people don’t want to stay over an hour. So, we’ve got 20 minutes of ‘praise and worship’. The team has practiced their songs so don’t lead anyone to sing a chorus we didn’t plan. There will be five minutes of announcements and 35 minutes for the preaching. The speaker may throw in a prayer sometime during that. We’re in a series right now, so don’t try to lead Pastor down a rabbit hole. Come on in, we want you in our service.”
Don’t be offended, it’s true. It’s true every day as we try to fit Jesus into our agenda. Tony Evans called that “an add on”. We plan, we execute, and we add Jesus in where we can. We invite Him to be part of our day, our life, our church, within our parameters.
We bring our requests to Him and tell Him how we think this can be fixed or worse, we try to fix it ourselves and then ask him to bless it. We really don’t want Him to do it His way. It might hurt, it might inconvenience us. Nobody likes the unknown.
The servants did what they were told. They must have because Walah! Wine in the ceremonial washing jars. Filling them with water must have seemed crazy, but servants don’t question a command. They probably filled those jars thinking this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever done. God seems to delight in asking us to do things that are quite out of the ordinary. This servant is a frequent naysayer. I want the supernatural in my church, but I’m selfish. I want it in my life too.
Thinkin’ ‘bout tellin’ Jesus what I need today and doing whatever He says.