Friday, July 24, 2009

Weddings, worship, and celebration

I think weddings are awesome.

Having been married now for more than 11 years, I think marriage is one of the greatest things in life. I have low tolerance for those who belittle it, especially in the context of a wedding-- ball and chain jokes, her dragging him down the isle, etc. (Mostly, it’s men who do this-- women have a better appreciation for marriage.)

And weddings are worship. They are a time for the whole Body of Christ, not only for the couple getting married. That doesn’t mean that I think weddings must be solemn, somber occasions that are quiet, frowny, and dull-- on the contrary. Worship, and maybe especially at a wedding, should usually be joyful, celebratory, and even fun.

All corporate worship is an acknowledgement that we have been welcomed into the presence of our Lord and King by His grace-- this is something to be excited about, no? And the Bible clearly pictures marriage as a type of the church’s relationship to Christ-- even calling us His Bride-- and that weddings are, therefore, all prefiguring the coming “wedding supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9). Indeed, they ought to be some of the most joyous and amazing times of celebration we experience.

Some weddings do this in very traditional ways. Strings play music so beautiful that you could weep, and horns announce the entrance of the bride in a way that has echoes of heaven. Everyone dresses up in their finest clothes-- many buying new and finer clothes than they already owned-- because this is the greatest party they will attend before Christ returns. The entrances of those who have a prominent role are big and bold, and everyone present gives their attention entirely to the moment.

Other weddings are less traditional, but still capture that spirit. Watch this video of a couple (and their wedding party) that totally embodied the joy, zeal, celebration-- and fun-- of the wedding event. I think this represents a sense of the magnificence of the moment better than anything I’ve seen in a while, and without knowing the couple or their hearts, I can’t help but think of the biblical intentions of weddings and what they represent and delight in this. As with most weddings, when the bride makes her entrance I tear up, just a little bit, in thinking both of my own wedding and the coming wedding of Christ to His church.

(HT: Blake)

Note/disclaimer: I’m not endorsing Chris Brown’s “Forever” as a worship song, nor do I think that it (or similar songs) are necessarily appropriate for all weddings. I will say that I don’t find the lyrics for the song (which is really just an extra-long Doublemint Gum commercial jingle-- seriously) offensive, and believe that when Brown says that it’s really a love song with a dance beat, he’s not trying to fool us. Further, I’ll say that, in some weddings, this song (or others like it) might actually be entirely appropriate, and I wouldn’t object.

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