Today on the way to our place of worship, my son Riley had a meltdown.
“I want to give an offering! I want an offering.”
Now, before you take our your bully stick, we haven’t forced our kids to consider giving. They give because they want to, under no obligation from us. The heart of this little kid was amazing. Certainly, I’ve never cried on the way to church:
“Lord, I want to give an offering! I’m not going unless I have an offering.”
But what about when the situation is reversed. When Jesus is seemingly forced into engaging when he doesn’t really want to, which BTW he never really does. The first miracle he does is the water into wine. Remember that? Jesus is at a wedding party and they are almost out of wine. Cutting to the chase, he turns water into wine and give the bride and groom a wonderful gift. No being shamed at their wedding. Or at least their families.
But because I’m cheap, I did the math. Side note again, my parents used to live in the wine hills of France. A good bottle of champagne, or an aged wine, might cost a bit. A little research here tells me that “the best wine” is well over $10,000. I operate with a worldview that Jesus probably made the best wine in the world. So let’s take the 10,000 mark per bottle, estimate 4 bottles per gallon, that’s 40,000 a gallon. Still with me? 30 gallons in the jar. $1.2 million per jar. 6 jars. 7.2 million dollar wedding gift. Kind of overkill don’t you think? For a bunch of villagers in a tiny place called Cana?
And then there’s the feeding of 5000 and the 4000. Why the left overs. 12 baskets of leftovers. Assuming a basket would feed 1 family for 4 days, maybe 5, that’s a lot of leftovers.
And then the fish. 153 of whatever got caught in the nets. That’s overkill isn’t it. Filling the nets would have been enough. Overflowing, that’s Jesus style.
Suffering is part of the Gospel story. I know that. Blessed are the poor. I have lived that. But today, I’ve begun to wonder about this God who wants to give good gifts to his kids. Even the ones that have prepared NOT properly, or NOT done things right.
Lord, My hands are open.