In a lovely, moving ceremony, my youngest son got married last Saturday. My heart overflows with joy, not just because he’s found a wonderful woman, but because Jed and Rebecca understand what weddings are all about.
Despite the swirl of opinions these days as to what marriage is and whether it’s important, weddings are still a big deal in our culture.
I hope weddings will always be a big deal — but I pray it’s for the right reasons.
My son and his bride orient their lives around joyful obedience to Jesus Christ. They planned their ceremony around the understanding that their marriage is a small, important and beautiful part of a bigger, over-arching love story.
Jed and Rebecca get that weddings are a reflection of the pure and perfect love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Weddings serve as a reminder of Christ’s love for his bride, the Church.
A wedding ceremony is not about impressing people; it’s about a community coming together to celebrate a sacrament ordained by God.
It’s about everyone cheering and dancing and raising their glasses, happy for the two whom God has brought together.
We celebrate the beginning of their journey together, a journey that includes the bliss of marital intimacy as well as a deep-rooted sense of purpose together.
On Saturday, this particular journey’s beginning was threatened by natural disaster.
Less than three hours before the ceremony, a strong wind started pushing smoke from a nearby fire towards the church. The highway which a number of attendees needed to travel was closed.
What to do?
The original plan was for an outdoor ceremony. The chairs were set up in a wooded grove behind the church; reception tables waited under fluttering white banners.
But now, there was no guarantee the wedding could happen at the church at all, let alone outside. The best man waited for word from the fire Marshall.
Would we have to evacuate?
It was time to pray. The wedding party gathered in a circle inside the church and called on God to intervene and to show them what to do.
Shortly thereafter, the news came that the fire was under control. The wedding could take place at the church. The highway re-opened.
Since the hot wind and smoke were still bothersome, Jed made the executive decision to move all the chairs and tables inside.
Everyone simply rolled up their sleeves and pitched in.
Folks from at least three different churches worked shoulder to shoulder and quickly re-did the entire setup.
No one complained. People continued smiling and laughing. Yes, there was plenty of work, but not a bunch of stress — just peace, joy and loving service for one another.
By the time the ceremony started, everything was in place. And here’s the cool thing:
The beauty of this wedding went far beyond a stunning bride and pretty dresses, flowers and music.
We witnessed the beauty of the Body of Christ coming together, demonstrating sacrificial love, faith in God’s sovereignty, and shared joy as a community.
How meaningful is that?
In a world that’s getting increasingly confused about the meaning of marriage, I hope and pray for Christians to be increasingly intentional about honoring Christ in their wedding ceremonies.
Let’s put the spotlight on Jesus, the perfect Bridegroom anticipating a radiant Bride.
Let’s point to the ultimate celebration behind the celebration.
Photo credit: Ange Movius Photography. See more photos of the wedding here: