I love weddings. They have all of my favorite things. My favorite people. My favorite food. My favorite dances. My favorite food. My favorite smiles. My favorite... food. I was given the distinct honor of officiating the wedding of two of our nerdy members of Checkpoint Church (Congrats Ryan and Hallie!)
One of my secret favorite things about weddings is that they are full of all of my very favorite symbols. Weddings are quite customizable. We can change up the symbols, we can change up the people, we can change up the words - but we can't ever seem to get away from the symbol of unity. At the end of the day, whether it's at a courthouse or backed by a gorgeous North Carolina mountain, weddings maintain the tried-and-true symbol of the two becoming one.
Often, pastors will use the beautiful thing that is the wedding ceremony to get some preaching done. After all, you have a captive audience that are gathered on a wonderful day. Typically, everyone is in a great mood. So, why not take the moment to preach some hellfire and damnation, right? Hopefully you know me well enough to know I vehemently disagree with this.
But - at the core - these preachers are right about one thing... people are watching and they are absorbing the message of the moment. I find the best course of action is to get out of the way and let God do God's thing here. Whether it be 'in the name of the Father, Son, and Spirit' or not, the unity present at the marriage ceremony can't help but mirror the true relationship offered up by Jesus Christ. I must've had two dozen folks from all walks come up to me after the wedding and talk to me about the words I offered during the ceremony. Here's the secret: they weren't sneaky, they weren't damning, and they weren't hollow. They simply let people see the love between two people and, without a doubt, God will do the rest of the work.