Weddings and Churches
I was married during a church service, so I am biased. There, now that that’s out of the way, may we continue?
There are few things I love more than doing a wedding as a part of a church service. Don’t be offended if that’s not the way you chose to do yours, I am not talking in absolutes so just stay with me. Geez you guys!
A wedding ceremony is as much about the witnesses as it is about the people uniting themselves to one another. That’s why the old traditional ceremony includes the bit about “if there is anyone here today who objects to these two being joined…. speak now or forever hold your peace.” It was about the people watching.
We witness the vows because the vows matter. We witness the vows because they remind us of our own. We witness the vows because the day will come when the people making them are tempted to forget them, and it will be our duty to remind them. We witness the vows because marriage isn’t just about two people, it is about a community. One strong marriage can strengthen an entire community. One bad marriage can destroy one.
I could go on and on about the ways that we have forgotten this. I could talk about the tendency we have in our culture to think that a marriage is really just about the people in them. I could write about how the evangelical church has been a part of this and how important it is that we try to reclaim that among ourselves before we try to reclaim it in our culture. But instead of writing about all that, I am trying as much as possible to demonstrate it.
Since a wedding is about a community, and since the greatest community we are a part of is the church, this Sunday at the 11:00 service, we are having a wedding.
Jean Pierre and Jolie are from another continent, but they have told me how they have found home across an ocean in our body. They love our church, they love the people here, they love the community they are a part of, and they wish to celebrate their union among us, because they understand that they are a part of us. That we are a part of their union. That the life that springs from their union will be a part of the life of this body.
We are celebrating this with them because it matters. It matters that the church value marriage. It matters that the church support their marriage, and it matters that their marriage supports the church.
This is community. This is living it out. Join us during the second service and stay to experience some traditional African style wedding festivities. You won’t regret it.
And this is a good perspective on the vows we make…