It happened again this week, in conversation with a cherished friend. We reflected on the power of a simple wedding service to move the heart, to heal, to anchor the spirit to the deeper reality of which we all are part but see only “as through a glass, darkly.” Our thoughts mingled with memories of the weddings I performed earlier this month and weddings past; of tears springing from timeless wells, of longing and of joy, of fulfillment and of hope. Why do weddings move us so?

Why, especially, in this moment of cultural upheaval, when ancient ways are being scavenged for ornaments to decorate our ceremonies, while the ancient truths that birthed them are dragged like worn-out ships to the wrecking yards?

I tried to capture it in a poem composed for one of the ceremonies. Understand please that I am not a freckle on the nose of a real poet. But those feelings we experience in a Christian wedding have a basis in spiritual reality, a foundation in the unseen world that calls to us like nothing else. I hope you can hear that call in these few stanzas of sad verse.

It is the oldest story in the oldest book
How God came down and from the ground
A man and woman took
And made them one
In flesh and soul
First parents of all men
T’was in the garden, free and sweet
It all began back then.

All down the ages
All through the book
The wedding song was sung
But no one knew the deeper truth
Until we met the Son
And saw the sacrifice he made
And heard his joyful cry
“It is finished!” Price is paid
On the Cross he died.

Death could not hold
Grave could not keep
The Groom of which we sing
He rose again and left this place
To come back with a ring
To claim his bride
And take her home
His Kingdom hers to share
Oh glorious feast, oh glorious day
When we meet him there.

So there’s no such thing
As “just a wedding”
Nor “just a bride and groom”
But memories deep as Eden
And echoes from the empty tomb
Laughter from the halls of heaven
Dancing to the drum
Invitation from the King
Whoever will, may come!

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