My hour has not yet come
It wasn’t until a couple years after Seminary, that I was able to fully understand the exchange between Jesus and his mother in our reading this Sunday from the second chapter of John’s Gospel. I was attending a friend’s Catholic wedding, and the Roman Catholic Priest officiating the service was the one who finally helped me understand the exchange. The text gives us a window into a rather public “difference of opinion” between Jesus and his mother. Jesus was of the opinion that “My hour has not yet come”, while Mary knew that it was time for Jesus to begin his public ministry. And, rather than continuing to argue with Jesus directly, Mary sends a message through the servants, telling them to “Do whatever he [Jesus] tells you”—trusting that Jesus will listen to his mother and start the very thing that he was perhaps hesitant to undertake.
As we approach this Martin Luther King weekend, I’m reminded that even in the struggle for civil rights and racial healing just a handful of decades ago, there were those who felt that the “hour has not yet come” for nonviolent public civil disobedience and protests motivated by faith. There were those who felt that it was “too early” to undertake such a public effort for social change—that the country wasn’t yet “ready” for a nonviolent strategy for change. And, I’m also aware that if there was anyone who knew Jesus better than he knew himself, it would be Mary. She knew it was time to begin the public ministry, and she was unafraid of the cost.
I’m grateful for all those who have participated positively in the struggle for racial understanding. We are all born into a history of how race has been used as a part of our social constructions of power, and our calling is to understand those social constructions in order to transform them, as an expression of our desire to be in ever more authentic relationship with one another and with our Creator. Our Race and Reconciliation Forum, “learning to know,” is one opportunity to understand this calling more deeply, but it isn’t the only one!
This weekend, I hope you can take a few moments for honest reflection and conversation on our social and individual callings for this particular time, as tempting as it might be to delay the undertaking.