The planning for a wedding takes hours, days, weeks, months–and along the way, there are countless opportunities to fall into pits: entitlement, envy, irritation, fear. And that’s just trying to put the wardrobe together. But what if you start the entire process praying for peace, praying that the God you’re wanting to honor gets glory even several months out from the intended date?
The days just before the wedding can be exhausting: lists pile up, shopping trips multiply (we need what? now?), guests phone with last minute troubles. But what if you settle for good enough, what if whatever help is offered is seen as a gift, what if friends step in with an insistence on doing what needs doing?
The day of? Disaster looming, surely: so many ways to go wrong. Really? What if the morning breaks clear, the wind dies, the coolers hold ice, people show up on time, there is more than enough of everything, relatives coming in from near or far spend their day working tirelessly behind the scenes? What if no tempers get lost, no irritation lodges, no worry surfaces? What if every person who walks in brings a smile and an open heart?
A ceremony happens, with its inevitable formality (this is a wedding, after all: no horsing around, bucko)–until, that is, a few guffaws break out. And then, with all the details properly executed and the deed rightly done, there’s a party. Nothing else quite fits a wedding like a party: relatives long separated by distance and calendars catch up; friends from different quarters meet one another; music you never heard and tunes that evoke private memories wafts; a bride and her groom float.
These two stand at the center point around which everything else gladly revolves. Grace is thick in this air as for these moments the worries that might have trotted out fade, washed away by a setting sun, overwhelmed by a good meal.
This groom and his bride: present, centered, and aware–qualities which stabilize guests, gifts they give to bless many. And what will this couple take from this day? I’m guessing that despite the intensity of the moment, they heard what was said, and that many good words nestled into their soft hearts. To those I add these words, borrowed from another whose heart beat fast for healthy community, as companions for all the days that follow this one:
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace–and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.