My son got married a few months ago. It was beautiful, moving, powerful, and good—in spite of a few minor glitches along the way.
As the groomsmen donned sports team themed sox and sage green ties one of Michael's friends unzipped his suit bag to the sad realization that his wedding clothes did not match the other 8 groomsmen. Mayhem threatened to hijack the day's ruling order as phone calls were made, Uber drivers employed, and a rescue suit obtained. An hour and several safety pins later Nicky was stuffed into an almost fitting hastily altered matching suit and the general public was none the wiser.
We were ready to begin ...
So, what made this wedding so special? The One at the center.
Michael and Caroline wanted Jesus to be the center of their wedding and they want Jesus to be the center of their home. That's a big thought. For many who witnessed the ceremony, it may have been an expected theme, a welcomed and comfortable mantra. We know—or think we know—what it means to allow Jesus to be the center. It means to love God with all our heart and soul and mind. It means to follow the teachings of Jesus by reading, studying, and obeying His Word. It means to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us, and empower us to be the hands and feet of Jesus on this earth. These are familiar thoughts. This is a bell we have heard ringing all our lives.
But what of those who have not yet heard this bell, or have only faintly perceived its echo in the distance? What do they make of a wedding like this—a wedding where the bride and the groom and their families lift the Name of Jesus higher than any other and long for the spotlight to shine on Him alone? Do they simply tune it out, eyes glazing over while they wait for a tray of appetizers to appear or the dance floor to open up? Do they chuckle to themselves a bit and wonder when we will loosen up and get on with the party? Or do their ears prick and their hearts burn as the truth and beauty of the purest love on earth weaves its way into their soul?
The answer is "yes." "Yes" to all. We saw it and we heard it. Some faces did glaze over—and that's ok. Ours is not to control or contrive, but simply to be who Jesus has called us to be.
And some most likely rolled their eyes and wondered when the "real" party would start. And that's ok. They don't realize this IS the real party. Jesus invites us to the greatest celebration we will ever know. The wedding is a miniature representation of that celebration and we who belong to Christ are already living in the pre-party right here, right now! As Caroline walked down the aisle in her perfectly fitting, pure white, sparkling gown I watched Michael. His face was locked on hers. His hands fidgeted with anticipation as his mouth lifted up into a glorious smile. As gut-wrenchingly beautiful as this was to witness, we cannot even begin to imagine what the face of Jesus looks like as He beholds His bride, the Church—us.
Mercifully, some who heard the bride and groom's straightforward confession of faith will wonder. They will harken the voice of Jesus, tilt toward His whisper, and allow His Spirit to ease His way in. Wonder has a way of winning the day. The wonder of pure love—Michael's for Caroline, Caroline's for Michael. Their love for God and God's love for us. Wonder makes us look. Wonder pries our fingers from the locks on our heart and the blinds on our mind and opens our soul to the truth of God. Christ at the center IS the beautiful life, the happily everafter. Jesus the groom and us the bridegroom IS the ultimate party. We've all been invited, and it's never too late to RSVP. Jesus is waiting for you to join Him. Will you?
Let us be glad and rejoice,
and let us give honor to him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
and his bride has prepared herself.
She has been given the finest of pure white linen to wear.”
For the fine linen represents the good deeds of God’s holy people.
And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.”