Posts Tagged ‘Bend It Like Beckham’

Sermon 06-08-14: “Party Time!”

June 16, 2014

Wedding Receptions

Since June is the most popular month for people to get married, I’m going to spend the rest of the month looking at weddings in the Gospels. We begin with the Wedding at Cana in John 2:1-11.

In John’s Gospel, the miracles of Jesus are called “signs”: in addition to demonstrating God’s power, they also communicate something about Jesus’ identity and purpose. What does it mean, therefore, that the very first sign that Jesus performs isn’t about healing the sick, driving out demons, or raising the dead, but enabling people to continue to party? This sermon answers that question.

Sermon Text: John 2:1-11

The following is my original sermon manuscript with footnotes.

I don’t need to tell you that weddings are a big deal. According to a 2012 report, the cost of the average American wedding, including the reception, is $28,427. It’s even higher in more affluent areas.[1] In Santa Barbara, California it’s over $42,000. Manhattan weddings average nearly $77,000. In other words, many couples are spending on a single event lasting a few hours the equivalent of a year’s tuition at college, or what the average American makes in a year.

As big a deal as weddings are today, however, it’s safe to say that they were an even bigger deal back in Jesus’day. In fact, weddings remain a bigger deal in more traditional societies. Several years ago, there was a movie called Bend It Like Beckham, about a soccer-playing teenage girl in England who came from a very traditional Indian family. Her older sister is getting married, and her very traditional wedding lasted for three days—it looked like three days of non-stop partying. A lot of fun!

The traditional days-long wedding depicted in this movie was much closer to the way weddings were in Jesus' day.

The traditional days-long wedding depicted in this movie was much closer to the way weddings were in Jesus’ day.

It was similar in Jesus’ day, but even more so. An ancient Jewish wedding could last up to seven days. And it was also a non-stop party. Nearly everyone in the village came. It was was the social event of the year! But if something went wrong—like, for instance, running out of wine before the wedding was over—it was deeply shameful. It would ruin a family’s good name and reputation. Read the rest of this entry »