“Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” — John 2:10
Eventually, no matter how much we think we want something — be it a relationship, a child, a job, a vacation, a house, a car — the “new” wears off. Like wine at the beginning of a celebration, we partake deeply of what is new and good; we enjoy it and we give ourselves over to it.
Soon enough we are benumbed to it. You still love your spouse, but the first flush of excitement is over and you discover that the relationship — or the child — brings with it a great deal of work, and sometimes stultifying routine. Ditto with the longed-for job and the house. The vacation may be delightful but eventually you’re ready to sleep in your own bed and, like the car, it can never love you back.
Ordinary Time. The simple day-to-dayness of it all can begin to seem like serving after serving of an inferior wine that gives you just enough buzz to keep you sipping, but not tantalized.
But Jesus is the Bridegroom whom the maître d’ proclaims to have saved the good wine for that time — the time when newness has passed and reality leaves us weary or bleary and just a little bit bored. When we think nothing is new, he makes all things new, serving the good wine of himself. After the things we desire have been chased down and played out, we look around for something that re-assures our spirits with the ever-ancient and then allures us with the ever-new — all of it contained within the person of Christ Jesus, who sought us and seeks us even to this very moment.
It is within our natures to chase after what is before our eyes, and to reach for what will, for a time, fill a void and elevate our mood and our charity. But there is always a dulling and a let-down. And then we turn to Christ, and discover once again, the better wine there, waiting.