January 17, 2010: God is in the Details

Let us pray: Dear Savior, how kind and caring You are to concern Yourself not only with the big issues that impact us, but also with the little ones. As You have said: even the hairs of our head are numbered by You! Today, cause us to ask for and to receive help with the little issues that often compound together to overwhelm us. And then we resolve to redouble our thanks and praise to You! Amen

GRACE MERCY AND PEACE ARE YOURS FROM CHRIST, THE CARING MIRACLE WORKER!

TEXT: John 2: 1-11

Fellow Redeemed Sinners:

“The devil is in the details.” All of us heard that phrase. Most of us have used it from time to time. Usually it applies to legal contracts incrusted with fine print. The bottom line is this: details can make or break you when it comes to your attainment of happiness. Moreover, since the devil seeks to destroy our happiness, those pesky malicious details are ascribed to him.

As Christians we can and should look at life a bit differently. Certainly our Lord says: “Be wise as serpents, and gentle as doves.” That is, read the fine print, analyze it, and plan accordingly. Likewise, remember that with God on your side, leading and guiding You through prayer and thoughtful analysis of His Word of truth, you’ll be able to handle the details of life and not be overwhelmed by them. But, perhaps most of all, we need to constantly remember that our God is not distant, but up close and very personal. He really does care about the little people like us.

We see this fact played out in today’s gospel lesson. So, let’s recall its meaning for our lives by memorizing this new dictum:

GOD IS IN THE DETAILS

I

I have an old computer that works quite well for me. I’m used to it and happy with it. A couple of months ago I had to update my computer virus program. Alas, it didn’t want to do so easily. That’s because I had too small a ram, or random access memory. Well, I took it to Staples. They added a bigger ram for a few dollars. And lo and behold, everything works quite slick! It’s faster, loads quicker, and I’m happy! It all started out quite devilish but ended up quite heavenly! The point is: details can be managed and will work out for the best if you know where to look for help, ask for it, and get it.

Our lesson is the familiar story of Christ’s 1st miracle at the wedding of Cana. Apparently a cousin of the now 30 year old Jesus was getting married. We don’t know if that cousin was the bride or groom. But no matter. Aunt Mary and the now head of the household, cousin Jesus were invited. Some of Christ’s newly called disciples came along, too.

These weddings lasted about 7 days. Truly they knew how to celebrate! Food, good company, and wine were the common fare. Apparently after a few days into the event, Aunt Mary, like most aunts, had her aunt antennae switch on. They had run out of wine in the kitchen. That might not be important today, but it was then. It was an embarrassment for the bride and groom. The families would be forever remembered as cheapskates. What to do?

Well aunt Mary went into hyper-drive. She knew the amazing secret of her Son’s holy birth. She recalled the angelic message of His divinity. Surely, He could do something!? So, she approaches Jesus and tells him: “They have no more wine.” To which He replies: “Dear woman, why do you involve me? My time has not yet come.” Mary isn’t put off by this curt answer in the least, however. She knows what she knows. So, she then turns to some servants nearby and says: “Do whatever he tells you.”

In this case, we see that something devilish was happening in the details of the wedding. Such devilish details would bring tears to the bride and consternation to the groom. The families would be embarrassed. But Mary knew her Son’s heart. She knew of His kindness. And she also knew that God’s Son is never too busy or too aloof to help anyone in any genuine need. She knew that God is really in the details! He’s not just the God of heart attack help, stroke help, cancer help, job lose help, or funeral help. He’s also the God of wedding plans help, child raising help, loneliness help, of life details help.

II

Well, Mary wasn’t wrong and she wasn’t disappointed, either. Soon Jesus acts. He spies six 20-30 gallon stone water jars nearby. He tells those same servants: “Fill the jars with water.” Then He tells them to draw some off and take it to the master of ceremonies for tasting. They comply. This master of the banquet must have been tearing his hair out at this point wondering: “What will I do? What can I tell the guests?” He hurriedly gulps down the liquid and he’s astounded! It’s the best wine he’s ever had! Quickly he calls the bridegroom aside and says: “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

The care and compassion of Christ simply leaps out in this lesson. His kindness toward those in need imprints itself on everyone who’s ever read this text. And hopefully, after today, you’ll never forget that other point: God is in the details!
I fear that too often most Christians fail to take the details of life that bother them—they fail to take them to God in prayer. Yes, as I mentioned, we’ll take the big issues to Him, but not the little ones. Why is that? Do we think God is like my former small-sized random access memory computer? Do we think that we’ll overload His circuits if we pour out our problems to Him? Or perhaps we simply view Him as too busy and far removed from caring about all those little things that make us laugh, smile, feel sad, worried, or confused?

Well, as a friend of mine once said: “God has infinite ram!” We cannot overload Him—ever! But even more importantly, God is kind and loving and always seeks to show it to us in and through His beloved Son. Obviously, we see that kindness and love played out in the death to life struggle on the cross. We see it impacting our eternal future with hope and certainty via the empty tomb. But don’t forget: God really is in the details, too. He isn’t too busy to help you. He’s never too busy, just as He shows us right here! Had a bad day? Ask Him to reset your mental health. And He will. Don’t know how to handle a problem with your child? Ask Him to give you insights. And He will. Worried over wedding plans? Ask Him to make clear what’s really important and fix your gaze upon it. And He will. Pray for wisdom in handling that hard-to-like co-worker. He’ll provide that assistance.

God really is in the details. His care and compassion for the hurting little people on this earth doesn’t change and hasn’t change in any of the intervening years since this 1st miracle was performed at Cana. All we have to do is trust, ask, and receive. “This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.” My friends, go and do likewise! Amen