The Sweet Christian Bride

The Best Weddings Ever

by admin on August 9, 2012 in Purpose with No Comments

It was 2 A.M. the morning after Sarah’s wedding, and I lay with my mind spinning somewhere far from sleep.  I felt like I had been electrified this weekend, charged with an extra boost of vigor and perspective!  Jesus had shown up.

I know that God is omnipresent, and I didn’t physically encounter Jesus at His second coming, but I can’t find any phrasing that would more accurately signify Sarah’s wedding weekend.  It was as if she and her husband had actually invited Jesus to their wedding.  We could all feel His electrifying presence with more acuteness than I’m sure most of us had felt with any frequency in our spiritual walks.

This was not the first spectacular Christian wedding I had gone to, but perhaps because I was in the bridal party and could see all the details behind the scenes too, this one stood out to me unlike any other.

At 2 A.M., I penned my impressions that were keeping me awake.  Let me paint the picture for you:

As I maneuvered my rental car gingerly down the narrow dirt road, I came upon a little village of cabins that stood in a large clearing by the lake.  To the right of the road was a giant, unmanicured grass soccer field with a lively game going on; it had that rustic, overgrown feel to it like I had seen in Peru.

To my left was a cluster of wood cabins that would house around thirty guests.  There were a few slightly bigger cabins that I found out later were the chapel and a recreation center.  When the night came, that area of the clearing became pitch black.

Further down the road, off to the right, was a large barn-type building that looked out to the water of the sparkling Vermont lake.  People were milling around the plank-patios with cold beverages in hand.  That was the dining hall where our meals for the weekend were set up in buffet, family-seating style.  The dining hall, after some conversion with heavy green plants, candles, twinkle lights, and white table cloths, would be turned into the enchanted haven for the wedding reception.

My room was in the house-sized cabin at the end of the road.  At night, it was a hike lit only by stars, fireflies (literally, there were thousands!), and the one safety light over the door of the lodge.  It shared an entrance with another house-sized cabin, both of which stood parallel to acting barns.  These were the weekend homes of the bride’s and groom’s families and bridal parties.

The next day, Saturday, was the wedding!  Sarah looked stunning in her elegant, yet simple white dress and her bold, blue flowers in her hair.  She wore no veil, no heels, and no stress.  Even her make-up was a polished version of natural.  As a hiker, farmer, and bird-watcher, Sarah seemed rightly adorned with such natural beauty.  She looked like herself on the happiest day of her life.  The groom wore a tan suit that complemented the browns of the tree trunks all around.  They walked through an arbor made of branches up to a place on the meadow that looked like the last possible piece of land before dropping off into the lake.

All of the guests watched the bride and groom against the lake and forest backdrop.  Birds chirped throughout the ceremony, and wild flowers peaked up from the grass.  It was a sensory landscape as God created it in all His splendor and glory!

Their vows were inspired, their homily was moving, and their worship was holy.  It didn’t feel like a wedding; it didn’t even feel like a church service.  It felt like we were seated in the presence of the Lord.  His beauty and His love were vividly all around.

The Sunday morning after the wedding, before we all left, we had another church service.  The pastor (and groom’s dad) finished Part II of the homily he had given at the wedding the day before.  Part I had connected the wedding at Cana, where Jesus turned water into wine, to the wedding of Sarah and her groom.  Part II, at the Sunday morning service, was on the last wedding ever, the wedding between Christ and His Bride.  Having the entire weekend to understand Sarah’s wedding in the context of the other weddings where Jesus had shown up stirred my heart profoundly.  This was what weddings were all about.

Weddings are certainly about vowing before witnesses and before God the lasting promises of husband and wife.  They are definitely about celebrating the beautiful relationship that comprises the marriage-to-come.  And weddings are also about reuniting with family and friends. But ultimately, weddings are a worship ceremony to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

So many beautiful Christian weddings miss this fundamental purpose and therefore lack the electricity of the Holy Spirit that God is so delighted to give when He is intentionally invited to and honored at the wedding.  Above all, your marriage is a gift from Him, and worshipping Him with your celebration, ceremony, relationship, and planning will allow your wedding to be one of the holiest and most joyful events in your lives and in your guests’.

What I came to realize from Sarah’s wedding was that all of the best weddings I have been to (before theirs and since), have three common characteristics:

1)      They are centered on worshipping Christ

2)      They are bathed in prayer every step of the way

3)      They are in the personalities of the bride and groom

You’ve seen a glimpse into the worship of Sarah’s wedding, but behind the scenes, they invested greatly into creating a foundation for such worship by committing their engagement to Christ and by praying over each aspect of their wedding.

In terms of their personalities, Sarah and her husband both went to Dartmouth and lived on a farm during the summers.  They fell in love while bird-watching.  They took six months after their wedding to hike the Pacific Coast Trail.  Then, they moved to Rwanda to provide agricultural expertise in a village.

These two people love God’s creation inside and out!  They thrive on simplicity and nature!  And they are all the more beautiful for it.  If they had had their wedding at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, it would have been a nice event, but nothing at all even close to what would have made them the happiest.  And all of us who love them would have known that and felt that.

God created each of us distinctly in His image.  He is a huge, mysterious God that no single person will figure out completely.  But He gives each of us certain aspects of His own character that together, in the body of Christ, can add up to a more complete picture of Who God is.

When a bride and a groom plan their wedding according to their values and personalities, they are revealing authentic pieces of Who God is.  Any time a bride and groom can reveal to their guests glimpses of Who God is, opportunities are created for their guests to come into worship with the Lord.

You might never see the impact of your wedding on your guests, but you can trust that God is One Whose promises and Word never return void.  When you plan your wedding for His glory, pray over each decision for His will, and incorporate your God-given personalities, Jesus will show up with an electrifying presence!




Photo © Kapu – Fotolia.com

Originally posted on 12/1/2010

By Lindsay

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