Tonight we attended another wedding and reception. This is about the fourth in the past three months. Our friends, Phil and Jennie, invited us and others to celebrate as their daughter Nicole married Nick. I did the premarital counseling, and another pastor friend did the ceremony. For a couple of hours we forgot about the sadness of our community (more on that later), and we were immersed in the joy that comes from celebrating God's gift of love. Food, laughter, music, dancing--it was a blast.
Just a few weeks ago, I officiated a wedding for another couple I got to know through the place I get my hair cut. Even though you rehearse and rehearse, you can pretty much count on something going wrong at just about every wedding. At this wedding, as the bride and her father came to the front of the church, before I could ask, "Who gives this woman to this man to be united in holy matrimony?", the bride dropped her dad's hand and sprinted the last six steps to her groom, whom she hadn't seen all day. Her eagerness to join with her man was beautiful, although I must admit I felt a little sorry for the dad. I came home and told my daughters, "The wedding doesn't start until daddy says it starts!
The Bible frequently uses the metaphor of the wedding. Jesus is the groom, and the Church is his bride. If only his church would run to him with the same abandonment that this bride ran to her groom!
And if only the sober, proper, uptight church could get a glimpse of what a real wedding party is like! As John Eldredge says (my paraphrase), "When Jesus says at the Last Supper that he won't drink of the fruit of the vine until he drinks with us in heaven, that means that when we get there, he's going to pop a cork in our honor!"
Here's to bride and grooms everywhere. Continue to throw great parties (with free food) and we'll continue to be reminded of the incredible love that Jesus has for us, his bride!