Summary: The miracle of Jesus turning water into wine, as witnessed by several in the household, and a guest.
Style: Drama (with light touches). Duration: 10-12min
Scripture: John 2: 1-11
Actors: 2M, 1F
Characters: Junior steward
Mother of the bride (MOTB)
(Setting: Steward and guest outside the kitchen at the wedding.)
Guest: Boy, that was quite the scene out there this afternoon, wasn't it? Did you see what happened? Were you there?
Steward: No kidding I was there. I was the guy with the wine. The steward sent by Jesus to get more wine for the guests at my master's daughter's wedding.
Guest: What was happening? I didn't get it all.
Steward: You think I know everything that goes on out there? Don't count on it. Guys like me - we never know what is happening in the party room. One minute we're in the kitchen, cleaning the chickens, next minute we're out cleaning up the guests. We run around like crazy back there.
Earlier tonight, that fellow over there had too much to drink. Guess who gets to take him for a little walk? And as we're walking, he tells me all about his bad marriage, and his gout. Weddings, boy I've had it with weddings.
Guest: So tell me what happened.
Steward: It was like this, you see. I was just keeping busy, trying to keep the guests happy. Trying not to let my master catch me slacking off. And then all of a sudden they announce, "the wine has run out." And that is not good. Not good at all. You can't have a wedding without wine. But I shouldn't have been surprised. It was one heck of a party going on out there.
This very nice lady comes over to me and says, "They're out of wine, young man. Talk to my son Jesus over there. Just do whatever he tells you. It will be alright." So I'm thinking, OK, she is asking me to fix the problem. But I'm not the guy in charge of the wine. And the chief steward will kill me if he finds out I haven't done anything about the wine problem. So, I figure it's better to see what this other fellow can do than to lose my job.
(enter mother of the bride)
MOTB: So there you are, you little slacker. Trying to hide out in the kitchen. I have a few things to say to you. And if you think this is funny, let me tell you something, kiddo. You don't fool around with the mother of the bride.
Guest: But, Ma'am, you should be grateful to this young man. He helped to save the day. He is the one who helped Jesus with the wine.
MOTB: That little incident almost ruined the party. My daughter's wedding is the most important day in my life. Sure, we got the wine flowing. But these incompetent stewards are forever messing things up. Honestly. I was so embarrassed. After all, the whole community is here. The rabbi, the mayor, the captain of the Centurions. No wine. No party. You are lucky your head is not rolling.
It's not your reputation on the line here. I know what's needed for a wedding. For goodness sake, I organized it, just like I organize everything else in this family. Without me, buster, the whole thing would flop on its face.
Guest: But a miracle happened in your house, ma’am. Isn't that something?
MOTB: The only miracle I care about was the birth of my daughter. The second is that the Rabbi got all his lines right.
Guest: Yes, but the wine did run out. And Jesus did perform a miracle.
MOTB: And for that I am eternally grateful;.
Steward: So am I. Believe me. That fellow saved my neck.
MOTB: You're lucky to have one, you little...
Guest: Could we get back to the story, please? Junior steward, could you please explain what happened next.
MOTB: Yes, please Mr. lucky-to-have-a-job Junior, junior, junior Steward, please explain...
Steward: Alright, my lady. I went over to Jesus, and asked him what I should do. I didn't know much about him, really. Just that he was there with a bunch of his friends, and, of course, his mother. His mom seemed to be connected to the family somehow.
MOTB: His mother's name is Mary, if you really want to know. And she is a friend of mine, you ninny. Imagine, a guest having to give orders to the servants! Honestly, it is so embarrassing!
Steward: Yes, thank you, my lady. Anyway, Jesus walks with me over to where the six stone jars were kept for the purification rites. You know, the water that Jewish people use to wash properly for certain ceremonies.
MOTB: Of course the purification rites have to be observed. My daughter had to be pure. The rabbi had to be pure. And so did all the guests. The food kosher. Nothing impure.
Steward: Thank you, my lady. As I was saying, there were these jars of water. Though they weren't quite full. Then Jesus said to me, "Top up the jars." So I went to the well, drew the water and filled them - right to the brim, like he asked. "Now draw some out and give it to the chief steward." he said.
At this point, I almost fainted. The chief steward is not a fellow to joke with. And today, he is especially high-strung. What would he think of me bringing him a wine glass filled with water? But I did as I Jesus said, told him what had happened, and held my breath as he sipped it.
There was a strange look on his face. He kind of twisted his mouth around funny, looked me in the eye and then went to the bridegroom. I followed him, though I was afraid he was going to get furious and throw me out. But instead he said to the groom, "Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the best wine until now."
After that, I let my breath out. I went back to one of the jars, took a big glass of wine for myself, and ran here to the kitchen.
Guest: And that is where we found you.
MOTB: And that is where I will find you again. Now I know where you cowards like to hide out when you should be working.
Guest: Now that you are here, what do you think this means?
MOTB: I know what it means. It means when my son gets married, if that scoundrel will ever let us match him up with someone that's good for him, I'm going to invite Mary again. And make sure she brings that unusual son of hers to the wedding.
Guest: That wasn't what I meant exactly. I meant, what do you think it means that Jesus performed that miracle?
Steward: May I speak? I don't know for certain what it means. Jesus' face was hard to read, but I think there was more going on than turning water into wine. I don't think, with all due respect, my lady, that he was doing it just for the wedding.
Guest: What do you mean by that?
Steward: I mean I think he was sort of testing things out, or something. I remember when his mother was talking with him, he said something I couldn't really understand. He said, "What concern is that to you and to me?" I thought that meant he really didn't care. But then he did perform the miracle. And then he said, "My hour has not yet come." It's that second part that puzzles me. "My hour has not yet come."
Does he know something about his life that most of us never know about ours? There was a look of strength in his eyes that I have not seen in other people, a look of clear sight and inner calm.
Guest: What do you think that means? Who do you think Jesus is? Is he supposed to do something with his life? Something that only he knows about?
Steward: I think so. It is like he has a mission in this world. I don't really care if he performs miracles or not. It is Jesus himself that intrigues me. He has the kind of certainty I would like to have. A sense of purpose. I wish I knew what I was to do with my life.
MOTB: I could tell you what to do with your life, my little junior, junior servant.
Steward: Thank you, my lady. But if it is all the same to you, I think I will not let you have that privilege. Perhaps you could give this job to someone else. I am going to follow Jesus.
(c) Jim Hatherly
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