Have we learned to celebrate the joys in other people’s lives?
The Wedding at Cana
On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and His disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to Him, “They have no more wine.”
“Woman, why does this concern us?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever He tells you.”
Now six stone water jars had been set there for the Jewish rites of purification. Each could hold from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim.
“Now draw some out,” He said, “and take it to the master of the banquet.”
They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not know where it was from, but the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone serves the fine wine first, and then the cheap wine after the guests are drunk. But you have saved the fine wine until now!”
Jesus performed this first sign at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.
We have all had events in our lives in which we celebrate – our own “highs” that we take time to acknowledge and celebrate with others – graduations, promotions at work, marriages, births of children – events that cause us to stop and acknowledge that we have been fortunate enough to reach a milestone that is cause to celebrate.
It is good to celebrate – to laugh and sing, to cry for joy and remember what was and what has now come. Jesus knew of the importance of celebration – so much so that he revealed His glory possibly prematurely in order that someone He knew would be able to celebrate to the fullest extent possible.
Most times our celebrations involve ourselves or our loved ones. We observe others celebrations but unless they are our own or our circle of family or close friends it is usually not something we think about.
And yet . . . maybe we should. I am convinced that if we can focus our eyes on Jesus and celebrate someone else’s achievements and successes, we can eliminate jealousy and competition in our own lives. We are not always part of other’s actual celebrations, but we are within the circle of many people’s lives where their successes are known to us. We hear about the birth of children and grandchildren, of graduations and weddings, of promotions and new jobs, or awards and accomplishments.
When we hear of these things from our friends and colleagues – from our Church family and friends, do we take the time to celebrate with them? Do we sincerely listen and share in their joy? Do we pray Blessings over them and their family? Or do we secretly become jealous or ignore their joy because we have not accomplished that milestone yet? Do we wonder in our minds whether the person “deserved” the promotion or who they “knew” in order to get that award? Do we make negative comments about how someone “cheated” to get where they have gone? Do we comment on the age of the parent of a newborn and put our two cents in about having children too early or late in life?
In other words, do we pretend to celebrate other’s joys while in our hearts and minds, we curse their achievements? It is a nasty and vicious trap that many of us fail into, time and time again. We forget that we are not in “competition” with others. We forget that each of us is made differently by God and our paths although similar in some ways vary more than they are alike. We forget that Jesus celebrates milestones and we should be doing the same.
We are called to celebrate with others as God moves in each of our lives. These milestones happen at different times in different ways – if they happened at the exact same time, there would be no one to celebrate with – we would all be accomplishing things simultaneously!!!
My prayer for us this week is that we consciously take time to celebrate with others and share in their joy; that we set aside our own thoughts, judgments and perceived lack of accomplishments, for the express purpose of simply enjoying God’s blessing on someone else.