Monday, July 13, 2009

Wedding Renewal

It was a typical fairly typical Monday. I went running at 5:30 a.m. I did some administrative stuff I needed to do. I dropped Benjamin off at a science camp. I started working on my sermon for Sunday and made a few calls and visits. Then Amber dropped the boys off at the church office. Benjamin, David, and I ate together at the VBS meal. I dropped the kids off at VBS. I volunteered for a little bit and then went to a staff parish meeting. I skipped out a little early on the meeting to drive out to Quarry Oaks to do a renewal of marriage ceremony for two friends.

AJ, the musician for the night, and I drove out to the golf course together. We arrive at the scenic destination just after 8:00 p.m. The couple, their three children, another family, AJ, and I hopped in the golf carts and drove to the 15th green. Actually we made a pit stop at the 14th tee box and took photos. As the last of the golfers for the day finished the 15th hole, we all took our places.

It was about as scenic as a place as you are going to find. Simple, yet elegant. The Platte River served as the background. The wild prairie grasses and flowers of the Platte River Valley were in stark contrast to the manicured golf course. The rain this year made everything green. Of course the people were the most beautiful. The kids had a temporary playground. The adults were excited about the occasion. The pastor and the worship leader were grateful to serve in a wonderful setting with even more wonderful people.

It was informal. I talked for a little bit. AJ sang the song: “All I Want is You” by U2. The couple held each other as they listened to AJ sing the words, “…but all the promises we made, from the cradle to the grave…” The three girls read from the Bible. The couple couldn’t hold back their tears as they exchanged the vows they wrote for each other. I blessed the rings and they exchanged them with each other, just like they did twenty years ago. AJ sang another song: “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” You fill my life with laughter : And somehow you make it better : Ease my troubles that’s what you do : There’s a love that’s divine : And it’s yours and It’s mine like the sun : And at the end of the day : We should give thanks and pray. The words couldn’t have been more fitting.

After the song I simply placed my hands on their hands and prayed a prayer of blessing. Then the couple kissed and the service concluded.

It was getting dark. As we drove the golf carts back to the club house, I realized that each of us who was present received grace: the unmerited gift of abundant life and love from a benevolent God. It is something he gives to all of us—everyday.

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