Thursday, April 03, 2008

Weddings

I am inspired today by my friend iareawriter and the fact that I'm doing a wedding this weekend to tell a bit of my wedding story.

My wife and I were married in the rain. We met at camp Mowana near Mansfield Ohio and decided to have our wedding in the "little chapel in the woods" where we had often worshiped together. The chapel is one of those "thin" places, one of those places in this creation where the divide between us and God is almost transparent, and where sometimes we even do brake through that vale and touch God. We at least think we are touching God. Later we realize it was God touching our hearts, binding us together, despite all the brokenness we bring to the table/altar. So that is where we got married; in an outdoor chapel, under beautiful trees, with old log benches, a stone altar, and a cracked cross.

We defied tradition early (like 5:00 a.m.) that morning and my soon to be wife and I met in the chapel to pray. It didn't really matter that it was so early because I hadn't been able to sleep at all. Anyway, at 5:00 the sky was pretty clear and it wasn't raining; so, we decided to continue with the plan to get married in the Little Chapel. About halfway into the service of the word, it started to rain. Luckily the canopy of trees was so thick that we weren't getting wet. So we got through the sermon and the vows and then we all processed through the mud up to a pavilion for communion.

Fast forward a bit to the end of communion. Many of my beautiful, talented, and gracious seminary friends had come to the wedding. At the end of communion there were all these large clumps of bread strewn all over the floor, pieces much larger then crumbs and only slightly smaller then boulders. My high church roommates were chalice bearers and, God bless them, they got down on their knees and picked up all that bread. After the service they buried the bread in the mud beside the pavilion and washed the chalices with rain water pouring off the roof. Meanwhile our camp counselor friends were playing guitars and leading spontaneous choruses of camp songs. It was a beautiful and humbling display of people using their gifts to celebrate the gift of love God had given my wife and I. Their love shared with us was the binding that God used to join us. It was true and beautiful, humbling and uplifting, binding and liberating and I wish it for the couple whose wedding I do this weekend.

Gracious God, allow me to be your humble servant this weekend and bind K and P together in your love and grace. Grant them the joy that comes from loving as you love and guard them against the stresses of this world. Amen!

3 comments:

wendy said...

J, that post wrecked me. I'm all weepy, and it's not even noon yet.

I remember that weekend so well. The procession from the chapel to the pavilion was my favorite part. I was toward the back, getting wet, and I looked up and forward to see The People in an umbrella parade, and I thought, "J & J are the most blessed people I know."

Anyway. Huzzah!

wendy said...
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Karen said...

...and after the service, some of us toasted marshmallows over the altar candles. That's one of the most joyful weddings I've ever witnessed - in spite of, or maybe even because of, the downpour. Grace like rain, Rain like Grace.