From: Ben Dunno, Warri A renowned Niger Delta activist, Chief Micheal Loyibo, has urged the political class aspiring to various offices, at any level in the region, to endeavour to make meaningful impact in terms of developmental strides that would stamp their foot print on the sands of history even when they have long retired…
One day, during a wedding reception in Cana, in Galilee, the wine finished suddenly. A situation like that is not too strange in our clime but the agitating question is why it should be so? Poor planning may be responsible for that. The number of guests expected may be understated, leading to insufficient provision of wine. During my wedding, the Senior Pastor of the Church could not agree with me that his Church hall would not accommodate the number of people I invited. His confidence was that there had been no wedding there in which all the pews were occupied. That day, he had to make emergence provision for seats on the ground floor.
It is possible to plan well and have unexpected guests. I planned my first daughter’s wedding. The owners of the reception hall guaranteed that it could accommodate between 1500 to 2000 guests. Immediately the wedding was over, I received a call that the reception hall had been fully occupied by our guests. My wife and I left immediately for the reception hall. On our way, my first son called to confirm that the hall was full. Those people, who were there, did not come to our Church for the joining of the couple.
There are situations, however, when the wine must finish and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Seventy years ago, you might have been very handsome, I doubt if the story is still the same. The wine of good looks is finishing gradually. You may be occupying a high position in the industry or Government, one day, the wine will finish. Nobody lives till perpetuity. One day, the wine of life will finish, going abroad for medical checkup, notwithstanding. In the lighter mood is the wine of the honeymoon that follows after wedding. Unbelievers hardly understand what the honeymoon means because there is nothing new in their relationship after wedding. Were they not sleeping together before deciding to wed? There is nothing new to thrill them.
Children of God are excited, filled with expectations as each day of their wedding date draws near. After their wedding, the honeymoon takes over, a time none of them feels bad no matter what the spouse does. The bad news is that one day, this wine ceases to flow. They are left with the reality of life and they begin to see the real person they married! What they do when the wine finishes, depends on what they did or did not do before it finished. Some people will then go out to look for replenishment. In the case of the ‘Five Virgins’, the Bible described as ‘Foolish’, they went out to refill their lamps when the bridegroom arrived and the door was shut against them. May it not happen to our enemy!
In our story, the organisers were wise to have invited Jesus, His disciples and Mum, to the wedding. Imagine what would have been the situation if the Lord Jesus was not there! It is not to every wedding that He is invited. I attended one once, in which, for sure, He was not there. There are certain things indicators in a wedding to show whether the Lord Jesus is there or not. He is not a Guest, Who leaves people in doubt when He is around. It is important therefore for us to invite Him, first in our individual lives, business and indeed, in all the things we do. When we are looking for a life partner, it is good to invite Him before making any choice.
When the Wine of the honeymoon finishes, the differences between a husband and his wife become apparent. My wife was born in a Township, whereas I was born in the village. Her parents and grandparents were literate, mine were not. She and all her siblings are graduates. I am the only one in my family. She is slow in walking, talking and acting. I am her opposite. How would we cope? Some people divorce at this stage. People of God stay and adjust themselves to fit in, one of them may make greater sacrifices.
In our story, diligence made Mummy Mary to notice the problem. People like her, silent workers, who may not be holding any office in the Church, and yet, they cause things to happen, are found in many Churches. She told Jesus that the wine had finished. It is by prayer that we report to Him now, confident that He will answer us because of our unique relationship with Him. That relationship starts the moment we are born-again. Jesus was not disposed to meet the need because it was not yet His time. ‘Woman, what do I have to do with thee, it is not yet My time,’ He told her. ‘Yes, I know,’ Mary seemed to have replied, but aware that the period of grace and mercy had begun, she keyed-in to it, assured that grace and mercy would compel Him to do the miraculous. This teaches us to be praying without giving up.
‘Yes, Lord,’ her type seems to be praying, ‘Tunde is out of school because of school fees. Recession is biting hard on his parents but, because of grace and mercy, please, help the family’. People like her also intercede, ‘Yes, Lord, the doctors say that Sister Joy’s case is cancer and that they cannot do anything again, let grace and mercy to her…’
Nothing to discourage her, Mummy Mary went ahead to prepare the disciples for the miraculous. She handed over to them the formulae for success: ‘Whatever He [Jesus] says you should do, do it’. The crafty Jewish leaders asked Jesus, when they brought the lady caught in adultery: ‘But what do you say?’ It does not matter what your custom, pastor or any other person says on any matter. It is what Jesus says that overrides any other things. What He says may even be unreasonable. Imagine, telling the ten lepers, without praying for them, to go and show themselves to their Pastors, when leprosy was still visible all over their bodies, and they obeyed. He told His disciples to take away the stone that covered the grave of Uncle Lazarus, already stinking in the grave after four days of death! And they did. He told Uncle to come out from the grave. He did not argue. He came out!
Jesus told His disciples to fill up empty pots with water. They did. He told them to serve it as wine. And they did. Miracle then took place, of water turning to wine as Jesus turned my life that April 16, 1972, from water of sin to wine. The Governor drank it and called it ‘Good wine’. The type of wine that will make me beat my wife or misbehave is not good wine. I drank one in 1971, a year before I was born-again. It made me sleep with a lady still recuperating from surgery. None of us remembered that under its influence. That type of wine cannot be called ‘Good wine’. It was indeed bad wine, evil wine. Jesus cannot provide what is bad.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 08023002-471;[email protected],com