My Lenten discipline took a hiatus as I prepared for my best friend’s wedding last week. I hadn’t been a bridesmaid since I was twelve years old in my sister’s wedding. And I had a lot to do before helping on wedding weekend. Weddings take a lot of work and preparation. In the season of Lent, we are all working and preparing for that special day Easter, in which life is given again, and all things are made new.
The first Easter only happened once, and we all pray that a wedding will be a once in a lifetime experience. So, the couple spends months planning and prepping, praying and pacing, picturing and packing.
And then the day arrives! Saturday, the sun shone with force, shining a light on the beauty that was in the air, and the beauty that is between the bride and groom.
Nerves and stress played a part, but once the ceremony commenced, only joy!
As I stood on the chancel with the couple, I was privy to the private yet public commitment that Kelley and Jay made to one another. I witnessed the delicate hand holding, the fierce emotions of love that flowed through tears and laughter. I heard sacred words, and glimpsed secret smiles as a song was sung.
What once were two individuals, one strong independent woman and fun-loving man, became united partners embarking on a new journey. It was a day of new beginnings.
At church, we know that the first Easter can never be repeated, but we say that we celebrate a little Easter each week. We remember whose we are and why we are. When life is full of little and big mournings, when winter feels as if it will never depart, we come together as a community to witness the glory of God on Sunday mornings, sensing the season of spring.
In a marriage, that one magical day is never to be repeated, but the moments of mystery and passionate prayers may be forever recreated between the couple and sustained by the community who was there to witness the love made manifest.
"Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn't fall because it was firmly set on bedrock." - Matthew 7:24-25
Marriage begins with sunshine and dance music. Those will remain, but rain and wind will enter in. The storms are not to be feared when the foundation is strong.
I trust that the marriage of my best friend and her new husband is built on solid ground of faith and friendship. And the family, of origin and of God, gathered on the wedding day, formalize and firm up the commitment made.
As the newly married couple soaks up the sun on their honeymoon, I pray that the Spirit will continue to strengthen them and sustain them their whole life long. May it be so.
Former international fashion model Rev. Sarah Renfro seeks to boost the body image of young women by educating them on the myths of media and focusing on divine within. She also preaches and teaches about marriage and divorce, motherhood, ministry, and mental illness.