I always cry at weddings. Always.
At a few I’ve cried because I was worried about the marriage lasting past the wedding (Sorry if that’s too honest, but it’s true), but mostly I cry because they’re holy.
Weddings are a set apart time that reflects so much of the glory of God. In fact, Ephesians 5 tells us that marriages are a reflection of the divine mystery of the relationship between Christ and the church. God has woven a love for weddings into our heart to point toward His intimate love for His church. Amazing.
I attended three weddings last year where I shed joyful tears, and because you may love wedding pictures as much as I do, I thought I’d give you a peak. (Can you say “Yes to the Dress” obsessed?)
This is my niece Anna,who is the first of her generation to get married in our family, and her husband Tyler. It was pure delight to watch them plan a celebration of their love that shone a spotlight on Jesus. All the little touches that honored both families made the time abundantly special! (Don’t you love the delight on their faces?)
Anna sent me a picture that I didn’t know about proving that I cry at every wedding. This is actually me crying (I know I look like I’m laughing, but I’m covering for my sentimental self.) at Anna’s REHEARSAL. I’m a serious marshmellow.
Whitney and her new husband Charlie had a service that radiated Christ and reflected their personalities so perfectly that I giggled over and over through my tears. When I used to drive middle school carpool for Anson and Whitney, I couldn’t wait for the pre-teen version of Carol Burnett to get in the car everyday, so it was no surprise when their recessional was “Linus and Lucy”, the Peanuts theme song!
I celebrated big at both of those weddings, but there was a third wedding where I not only celebrated but I was challenged to think about the coming marriage at the end of time in a new way. Barry was invited by the bride’s family to play his sax in the wedding, so I was invited along for the ride. You might not be surprised to know that when I found out it was to be TWO weddings in a day–one American and one Indian–I sent a “yes” RSVP right away.
Even though I’ve seen wedding processionals in India, I’ve never been part of an Indian wedding, so I attended each part of the ceremony with excitement. At the very beginning, before the bride arrived for the ceremony, the groom and his family gathered for a processional to where he would meet the bride for the ceremony. Check out this amazing video of the beginning of the procession. The groom is in the white hat.
This celebration went on for almost half and hour with different family members as well as friends dancing with the groom. At the beginning, I was grinning ear to ear enjoying all the sound and color and pure joy, but soon I realized that tears were streaming down my face. I had started thinking about Jesus.
This. This is what I believe the marriage of the Lamb will be like. It will be a celebration like none other. Jesus the Bridegroom will come to get His bride, and I believe that the abandoned celebration reflected in this little video clip will be the heartbeat of that wedding procession.
Yes, I know that we say we can celebrate in our hearts with a quieter exterior, but is it really true? Just think about how our culture celebrates anything else… great performances on a stage, stunning wins on the field, etc. We’re exuberant and loud. We’re cheering and whistling. We’re dancing and waving.
Do we celebrate Jesus that way? Will we be ready for a Bridegroom who comes with exuberant joy?
I want to be ready to dance at the marriage of the Lamb. “Believe”, my word for the year, is giving me dancing lessons. My life is just as imperfect and messy as in 2016, but my perspective has changed. Believing what God says is absolutely true is making my heart light. Each day as I follow the steps in the previous post, I feel my faith growing, and it’s making me want to celebrate.
How about you? What’s making you want to celebrate these days?