If Not Now, When?
If any of you have had the privilege or opportunity to watch the TV series ‘The Chosen’, which depicts the life of Jesus ministry here on the earth you may then have seen in Series one, session 5 where Jesus turns the water to wine at the Wedding in Cana! If you haven’t yet had the pleasure, then can I encourage you to click the link and get in to do so as you will be very pleasantly surprised by how Jesus is portrayed and what is shared – a real blessing!
I have been really enjoying the content and what I was particularly taken with was at the start of session 5, it shows Jesus’ mother Mary madly looking everywhere in the market for Jesus when he was 12 years old - read the whole account in Luke 2:40-52 (also at end of blog). I too have experienced the gut-wrenching sick feeling of looking for my lost kids when they were very little in a shopping Centre and I can tell you, it's not good. While running around looking and dragging in as many bystanders as possible to help you in the search, you’re also condemning yourself for being a bad mum and thoughts go through your head of ‘what if’ etc. I can tell you now, that on each of the times I found my children again, I am not so sure I was as understanding and gracious as Mary shown in this TV series. One of my darlings, when found was still holding a toy in their hand from the shop they disappeared from (and was no longer in) which goes to show she was a shoplifter at 18 months old! Horrifying I know!
When Mary does see Jesus again, she hugs him and lets out her frustration in saying, ‘it’s too early for all this’ but Jesus replies to her is ‘if not now, when?’. In a way, here in our modern-day today we too can ask that of our situations and hectic lifestyles. If I can’t do it now, when am I going to have or get the time to squeeze it in later?
I have just spent my past week doing the holiday thing, reading, swimming, journaling, reflecting, and I too had prioritized and allocated a number of specific activities to that week as being – ‘that is the only time I will have to do that’ and you know what, due to an unexpected (COVID test and quarantine – all negative) set of circumstances, some of those things did not get done, so ‘if not then, when?’.
We need to embrace the ‘unexpected’ today more than ever in our changing world predicament as I am discovering more and more that the bizarre, ridiculous, and even outrageous circumstances are flying directly at me like…
This is going to sound absurd but when swimming in the outdoor pool at our recent holiday retreat, I was out there rather early (around 6 am) one morning when a whole lot of willy wagtails were flying all around, in and out, trying their best to dip in and get a drink from the pool but as I was there doing laps, I would say I was putting them off. Until one random one comes indirectly at me with its mouth wide open to scoop up a mouthful but realized it was about to hit me directly in the face. At the very last minute, it had to pull up, and did not try it again. All I remember in the flash of it happening was the back of this bird’s throat… tonsils maybe (do birds have tonsils?)
…more now than ever. If I do not leave room/space in my emotional tank to allow for these ‘unexpected’ missiles, then I can set myself on a very rocky path that will only ‘knock the wind from my sails’ and ‘pull my legs out from under me’ – devastated in other words and I don’t want that at all!
Getting back to the TV series mentioned earlier, later on in that episode Jesus takes his friends/disciples with him to the wedding in Cana and his mother Mary is there as a friend of the groom’s mother, helping her set up. As the wedding progresses, we find that the wine has run out and Mary comes to Jesus asking him to do something, but Jesus dismisses his friends for a moment and takes his mother aside to say, ‘my time is not come?’ but Mary’s reply is ‘if not now, when?’.
(Jesus looking into the urn of wine from session five of Season One ‘The Chosen’)
We see Jesus asking the servants to leave the room so he is left alone with the urns of water, and then speaks to his Heavenly Father in prayer … we understand that he is taking on the responsibility before his Heavenly Father to say ‘I am ready’ for your plans and purpose to be unfurled through this set of circumstance and because of the miracle, not only was the marriage blessed, the wedding participants blessed, the disciples blessed (as they witnessed what he did) but to it started the journey God had set for Jesus here on earth to do.
If we are willing to do as Jesus did, and ‘do now’ what God sets on our hearts to do then I believe our Heavenly Father will bless our intentions to bring miraculous transformation to those around us in this season. We do not need to be concerned about the unexpected hic-ups along the way as God already knows the roadblocks and wants us to grip either side of our water urn (quiet place/prayer room) and say, ‘I am ready’ Lord for you to use me in this! AMEN
They Found Him in the Temple – Luke 2:41-52 MSG
41-45 Every year Jesus’ parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Feast of Passover. When he was twelve years old, they went up as they always did for the Feast. When it was over and they left for home, the child Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents didn’t know it. Thinking he was somewhere in the company of pilgrims, they journeyed for a whole day and then began looking for him among relatives and neighbors. When they didn’t find him, they went back to Jerusalem looking for him.
46-48 The next day they found him in the Temple seated among the teachers, listening to them and asking questions. The teachers were all quite taken with him, impressed with the sharpness of his answers. But his parents were not impressed; they were upset and hurt.
His mother said, “Young man, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been half out of our minds looking for you.”
49-50 He said, “Why were you looking for me? Didn’t you know that I had to be here, dealing with the things of my Father?” But they had no idea what he was talking about.
51-52 So he went back to Nazareth with them, and lived obediently with them. His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.