“Welcome to the altar of love and life,” said the Justice of the Peace.
The entire wedding was as cold as a deep winter’s day, even though it was October. No one spoke to my fiancé and me as we arrived for his cousin’s wedding. Each person was dressed as if ready to walk down a runway. Scantily clad women flashed their jewelry and the men’s ties were as tight as a cummerbund around their necks. Everyone who was someone was invited. The only one missing was God.
We felt it as soon as we sat down. Perfume wafted through the air and chatter was loud and boisterous. God was not present.
The bride wore a daringly low-cut dress and her groom’s eyes looked boringly at her. However, he sure noticed the low-cut outfit on the girl in the front row.
The wedding began with the Justice of the Peace welcoming everyone. He could have added, “Welcome to everyone, except God.” We wondered if the invitation to God was lost in the mail.
A friend of the bride recited a poem about mother earth and bowing down to its presence and finding a deep committed inner strength there. Another friend recited a somewhat “religious” poem, faltering over each word as if she drew the losing number to read. God, and His Word, were barred from attending.
The wedding was complete in less than ten minutes, and we walked down the street to the reception. Several people were stumbling and we could smell the alcohol on their breath. One remarked that he couldn’t wait to get there and sample the liquor.
At the “adults only” reception, the bride and groom ignored each other, drank, and danced. The groom flirted with several girls at different tables. When the bells were rung for them to kiss, several minutes passed before they came together. With a brief peck, they were each off to their separate agendas. The one dance they shared should have waited until they were alone.
We escaped after a few hours of torture, with heavy hearts. God’s presence was never felt the whole night. We imagine He grieved at this civil union between two people who have been living together. The joy of the wedding night was long gone and boredom had already set in. I am reminded of a verse in Hebrews: "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral" (Heb 13:4).
As we drove home, we discussed our upcoming wedding. God’s name was first on the invitation list. He not only attended our wedding, He presided over it.
"As we drove home, we discussed our upcoming wedding. God’s name was first on the invitation list. He not only attended our wedding, He presided over it." --- Wow! What an ending! When God is invited and presides over a wedding, it is indeed, "Holy Matrimony". Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. God should be there. Thomas
Congratulations on your wedding. I can't help but remember what a friend of mine once told me that I found shocking. Jack was the Judge in the busiest court in our city and, in his 22 years on the bench, presided over many weddings. He stated that there was no joy or happiness in most of the couples or the guests at those civil ceremonies. I'm glad you married in a church. A word to the I believe already wise: Marriage is a legal partnership. There are not 2, but 3 partners involved. God is the Senior Partner. As long as the two of you don't vote Him out, you'll enjoy a lifetime of bliss and even the hard moments will be joyful to look back on.