Clancy Nixon, June 2016
Late spring and summer are peak times for the celebration of weddings in our culture. As Solomon puts it in the Song of Songs, “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come….” (2:10-12)
A week ago, Ginger, Sam and I went to my nephew John Daly’s wedding in the lovely, green Smoky Mountains of Highlands, North Carolina. At their best, weddings not only celebrate life vows and the expansion of family, but also function as reunions. What a joy to reconnect with kin and longstanding friends! Ginger’s family and friends from Mobile, Alabama have stayed close through the years and have modeled for me healthy, lifelong relationships centered in the Lord Jesus. All Ginger’s brother’s close friends from his wedding 30 years ago were there to support him.
The most striking part of the weekend for me was the Rehearsal Dinner. I’ve been to many, many such dinners through the years, because celebrating Holy Matrimony is part of my call as a presbyter. All too often I’ve seen friends of the marrying couple use that time to tease or roast or even “payback.” At this event, I witnessed nothing but honor, in a quite godly way. The friends of the couple spoke of their delight for the two of them, and told admirable stories of how they met and courted. I knew that both my nephew and new niece were regular churchgoers, but it was a great joy to hear from their friends that the bride and bridegroom have been a spiritual example for their friends to draw them closer to the Lord Jesus.
The grandparents and parents were honored at the banquet. Ginger’s 90 year old mother Becky made it to the mountains, to everyone’s delight! Not only the couple, but their friends also spoke of how thankful they are that their parents, and their new in-law parents, have been so loving, supportive and prayerful through the years. Ginger’s brother Daly and his wife Debra had practically raised one young friend of John Daly’s who had neglectful parents, and this friend spoke from his heart of what the family meant to him.
All this is a picture of Heaven, where we will one day sit down to the wedding banquet of the lamb. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. +