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The Invited Guest

The family had gathered from hither and yon. All were in fine festive fettle. The traditional "glutenous" feast had been prepared with delectable ingredients from such exotic locations as Worthington and Loma Linda. The table was exquisitely set with fall colors and autumn leaves. All that remained was the ceremonial making of the punch — a responsibility left to the alpha male of the tribe.

And so it was that I began the family tradition of combining several different fruit juices together along with a dash of 7-Up for a little zip. There was only one problem. The mixture resulted in an off-color shade that did nothing to complement the dining room motif. What to do? My brother-in-law slipped in to offer assistance. We pondered in silence for a few moments. Then inspiration struck like a bolt of lightning. "Hey," exclaimed my partner. "Let's just add a little food coloring." It had the makings of a stellar idea, hampered only by one small but stark reality. Neither of us had a clue of what color combinations from those little red, green, blue and yellow bottles would bring the desired results.

Our first try ended in a stomach-churning olive-green concoction. "It's getting worse," he said. "It looks like spinach juice ... gone bad."

"Yeah, but let's add this," I exclaimed confidently, with the red bottle in hand. After a couple drops and nervous stir, the liquid turned a muddy shade of brown.

Someone called, "Is the drink ready?" My cohort and I looked at each other with the grim resolve of kamikaze pilots. Without a doubt, we knew the wedding feast at Cana would not be re-enacted here. While he quietly poured our revolting libation down the sink, I filled another pitcher from the tap and walked into the dining room. "We've got water and diet water!" I said brightly. "What'll it be?"

When Jesus joined the celebratory throng at Cana, it was a scene of thanksgiving, a wedding, an occasion of excited gratitude for new life and opportunity. It brought joy to Him. But the drink had evaporated. All that was left was water, and plenty of it. So the Man of the Living Water answered the call. "Fill the containers with water," He said. You know the story. He didn't just replace the wine. He took what was on hand and created something far better.

Now, please resist the temptation to get sidetracked on whether the Master produced a better vintage of wine or an artisan brand of high-end grape juice. There's a much more important point here for us — and it has less to do with the miracle of water to wine, than the Man who did it.

The lesson is simple: Jesus was invited to the celebration ... and He made all the difference.

I'm done dressing up drinks with food coloring. I'd rather bring my often empty cup to the Man with the Living Water, and let Him make all the difference.

This Thanksgiving, make sure He is on your guest list.

Featured in: November 2011


Steve Vistaunet

North Pacific Union assistant to the president for communication and Gleaner editor, 1996–2019

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