Monday, December 29, 2008

Impromptu wedding

Today’s Reading: I Corinthians 13:4-5(NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

Good morning!

They stood on the parsonage steps together, knocking on the front door. It was mid-afternoon on Thursday, November 30, 1944. Clayton and Doris stood with their marriage license in hand, hoping the pastor was home. In a simple ceremony conducted at the parson’s house, they exchanged wedding vows and made a lifelong commitment to each other. Doris told me that during the wedding ceremony, the children arrived home from school and she remembered how they came running through the house, totally unaware of what was happening in their own living room. Meeting only a few months ago, this was their impromptu wedding, a tender moment shared by two people totally in love and committed to one another.

I’ve often wondered about the wedding story as told by my mother and father-in-law. For them, this ceremony was personal, and they wanted to keep it between themselves. Of course, there was a war going on at the time, and planning for and holding a wedding ceremony on an appointed date and time was risky business, at best. Their simple ceremony has stood the test of time, as they recently celebrated their sixty-fourth anniversary.

I’ve lived in a church parsonage now for thirty-one years. I had not personally experienced an impromptu wedding until this past weekend. Of all the ceremonies I’ve attended, this wedding will stay in my heart forever. Their wedding date had been selected; and the bride and groom were trying to move into a home they’ve rented, while finishing last minute details for the celebration. The party, the people, and the planning became some sort of untamable beast for them, and the bride suddenly realized this was much more than what she and her fiancé had ever wanted. Overwhelmed by it all, she felt they had somehow lost sight of the reason why they were getting married in the first place. The parsonage phone rang during a nasty afternoon thunderstorm. We met the couple at church that evening. The bride and groom’s parents were there to witness this simple ceremony. They said their vows at the foot of the cross, in the twinkling lights on the Christmas tree. The wind whipped around the eaves of the sanctuary as the thunderstorm continued to pound the roof. Two hearts made their lifelong commitment to one another. Most mothers would never dream of allowing their children to marry without having some sort of celebratory party; yet, I will cherish this precious memory in my heart for the rest of my life.

I think that sometimes we lose sight of what love really is. In our revelry, we tend to forget the meaning behind the moment. Take Christmas, for instance. It is the celebration of Christ’s birth; yet, we have commercialized it so with our own holiday traditions, parties, and presents. We’ve placed lots of hopes and expectations of what the day should actually be, and often, we miss the reason for the season.

Love came to earth, born in a stable bare, on a cold and windy night, to a world unaware. Christ came for one purpose and one purpose alone: to save us from our sin; to free us from living our days in total separation from the One who formed us with His own hand. Where is love? You will find Him waiting for you at the foot of the cross.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


© Copyright 2008, Deb Spaulding

All rights reserved

Articles may not be printed in any “for profit” publication without further permission by the author. Articles may be freely distributed via e-mail, reprinted in church bulletins or in other non-profit publications without further permission. Please keep this copyright and Web Site information intact with copied articles. Articles are sent originally to subscribers only. You may have received a forwarded or reprinted copy.

No comments: