The media is atwitter about this Friday’s nuptials between Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Coverage is sure to trample over the most important aspect of the day: a man and a woman will be pledging their love and support of one another in the eyes of God and their fellow man. The royal couple’s guest list is filled with acclaimed dignitaries and celebrities, and their planned reception should be sumptuous, but I think a wedding that happened over 2,000 years ago has them beat hands down.
Did you ever wonder what might have occurred had today’s media been around during the wedding feast at Cana and the site of Jesus’ first miracle? I imagine it might have gone something like this….
(CUE THEME MUSIC TO “DATELINE: GALILEE”)
ANNOUNCER: We interrupt our regularly-scheduled programming for this breaking news bulletin. Now to our anchors, Tobit and Rachel.
TOBIT: Good afternoon. There’s word of an extraordinary event at a local wedding feast. I bring you over to Rachel for the inside story. Rachel?
RACHEL: Thanks, Tobit. At first, we hadn’t planned televised coverage of this wedding feast; the new man and wife are just your everyday average Canaanite couple. We even sent home our fashion reporters, Melissa and Joan of the Nile River, because these people are dressed so simply. But our undercover wedding guest John has alerted us to what only can be called a ‘miracle’! Over to you, John.
(CAMERA PANS SCENE: TETHERED BURRO WITH TIN CANS TIED TO TAIL BEARING SIGN IN ARAMAIC READING “JUST MARRIED”, GUESTS LAUGHING, DRINKING WINE, AND DANCING TO LIVE MUSIC. JOHN APPEARS IN FRAME.)
JOHN: Thanks, Rachel. Yes, the couple and their guests were enjoying a joyous wedding reception when seconds ago, the unthinkable happened: they ran out of wine.
(CUT TO PRE-RECORDED SCENE, WITH “RE-ENACTMENT” FLASHING IN UPPER RIGHT: WAITERS TIPPING WINESKINS WITH NO WINE POURING OUT. GUESTS GASP IN HORROR.)
RACHEL: Oh John, a major faux pas! What will the pundits say about a wedding feast that runs dry?
TOBIT: The society papyrus sheets tomorrow will be merciless….
JOHN: Yes, Tobit and Rachel, but one of the guests, an upright woman named Mary, stepped in to spare the couple embarrassment. And we go live in three, two….
(CUT TO TWO-SHOT OF MARY AND JESUS)
The woman, Mary, told her son Jesus, “They have no wine.” (And) Jesus said to her, “Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.” (John 2:3-4)
TOBIT: Ohhh, viewers, it sounds like there’s a little dissent among the guests! But wait, the mother is turning to the servers and speaking with them. Back to John at the scene.
JOHN: Mary just told the waiters to do whatever her son instructed. Now they’re filling six large stone water jars with water. Tobit and Rachel, for our non-Jewish viewers at home, these jars are used at ceremonial washings; each holds about twenty to thirty gallons of water and aren’t meant to be used in this manner. Let’s listen to Jesus now:
Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2:7-10)
RACHEL: Ooh, drinking wine out of ceremonial washing stone water jars! Is this safe? Let’s cut over to our medical advisor, Dr. Luke, a disciple of Jesus and also a guest at this wedding. Luke, what do you think about this turn of events?
LUKE: I have seen, and I am beginning to believe in Him.
TOBIT: Well, you saw it here first, folks. This Jesus, born in Bethlehem of Mary and Joseph, apparently has performed a miracle, changing water into wine. Looks like he has a bright future in front of Him, doesn’t it, Rachel? Blessed be His Name.
RACHEL: That’s right, Tobit. Blessed be His Name. We now return you to our regularly scheduled program. And be sure to tune in to “Dateline Galilee” on its regular night as we go undercover to examine shoddy workmanship in the Pharisee cloak industry. For Tobit, John, and all of us, good night.
(FADE OUT AS THEME MUSIC PLAYS.)