Most mothers and sons have a singular relationship. Some mothers dote on their son, considering him near-perfect...much to the chagrin of his sisters.
And when her husband passes away, the relationship can change, perhaps by her becoming more dependent on the son's support. It's then that it's important for roles to be clarified, and boundaries redefined.
My father, a larger than life character, died after a short illness shortly into his retirement years. I'm an only son with three sisters, and now my mother will often call me by my father's name. We laugh about it, but we both know that she still feels his absence even 16 years since he died.
I still miss him too.
Jesus' father, Joseph, doesn't get a mention in the Bible after the account of Jesus at the temple aged 12. Most assume that Joseph died at some point between then and Jesus' 30th year.
However, his mum was still around.
Mary was aware that events would one day cause her deep pain, like a sword piercing her heart, as promised when he was still a babe in arms. This didn't deter her, she stuck with him, appearing in the Bible's accounts among his followers.
We read that when he had grown up, Mary and Jesus both went to a wedding in Cana, in Galilee.
Events such as this typically lasted several days.
The bridegroom was responsible for feeding the guests, and providing wine for the duration of this community celebration. To fail to do so was shameful and might even prompt the bride's father to sue!
On this occasion the wine ran out before festivities had concluded.
You can read the account in John 2. John records the action as taking place 'on the third day'. Here's how I imagine it:
On the Third Day
There was a wedding in Cana
and Mary nudged her son:
'The wine has finished
This - is - not - good.'
And Jesus said, 'Mum. Not now'.
And Mary said
'Listen to your mother.'
And Jesus sighed.
And Mary told the servants,
'Do whatever he tells you.'
Then Jesus saw that it was no use to argue.
And he said, 'let there be water'.
And they rolled across the stone jars in front of him.
And Jesus said, 'let there be wine'.
And it was so - very - good.
And Mary smiled to herself
thought how much Joseph would have laughed to see this
and whispered to Jesus:
'This just the start you know.'
And he did,
and it was.
And there was a Mother's faith
and there were gallons of glorious wine.
And Mary kept on smiling, so proud of her son
and of this start of his new-vintage Kingdom
with the original third day, rolled-stone, miracle.
And there was a great party,
and loud singing
with much laughter,
and the Son danced
with his mother through the night.
There was evening and there was morning,
a fine Third Day.
Have you experienced the loss of close family?
Do you find it harder at family gatherings?
I've found the secret of adapting and adjusting is keeping Jesus close, trusting him because he is the one person who will always be with you.
And he can work miracles in the face of everyday challenges.
Also, make the most of the family you have with you; honour those who are no longer with us by celebrating the life we have.