Harbor Community Church just hosted its first public preview service yesterday. It was a blast. Preaching in shorts and flip flops is now crossed off my bucket list! We looked at John 2:1-12 where Jesus turned water into wine and saw how Jesus redeems our shame. Instead of Jesus leaving the party when the wine ran out (as most people would have), he stayed and made more wine. One of the applications I didn’t have a chance to unpack (because I forgot-and probably had preached long enough) was the idea of not leaving a party because of shame. I don’t have the ability to turn water into wine-I’d choose beer anyway-but because I know the one who has covered my shame, I don’t have to leave the party at the first sign of shame.
Jesus stayed at the party and covered this dude’s shame by making sure there was enough wine to go around. If this is indeed the Savior we follow, I think he calls us to stay, instead of leave, at the first sign of shame filled parties and situations.
This is actually quite hard. At the first sign of shame, we tend to run. I know I do. We tend to leave the “party.” But what if we stayed? What if instead of leaving the area we live, work, play, school, fish, we stayed at the “party?” What if instead of leaving an area or party in favor of something less shameful, we stayed and let Jesus work through us to deal with the shame of poverty, drugs, depression, oppression, unbelief, or anything else on the list? Instead of leaving the party or simply staying away from the party by ignoring the shame around us, what if we believed we actually didn’t need to leave at all? What if we believed the one who covered our shame has something to offer folks in the middle of their shame?
What difference would that make to a city, school system, job, neighborhood? Despite the level of difference or impact, I think that’s exactly where Jesus shows up. God certainly does call people to leave parties, neighborhoods, cities, etc…. But since our tendency is to flee shame at first sight, and considering our Savior who stayed and covered shame, its probably wise to consider staying at the party.