Always Go to the Wedding

Every local church should be a wonderful expression of the body of Christ, the family of God. The church, in fact, should be a family. When it functions like a family, it rejoices with those who rejoice and mourns with those who mourn. One “mournful” event is of course a funeral. One time one of my kids said they weren’t going to someone’s funeral because “I really didn’t know him.” I told them that was irrelevant, the conviction ought to be “Always go to the funeral.” (Read here for an excellent piece from NPR of all places! There are so many good reasons, personal and corporate, to go the funeral. But that is for another time.
The big joyful event in the life of the church is a wedding. As a church family, one, or two, of our own, are being joined together in marriage. Some may say, “Well, I don’t know so-and-so, so I am not going.” Let me urge you to have the conviction, “Always go to the wedding.”
This Saturday at 1PM Becky Grabow and Brad Goins are going to be married. Let me tell you why you should go.
1.    Becky Grabow was the first baby born at Grace Community Church. Her family has been quiet stalwarts at Grace since its inception. This is a big day for them. Share their joy. Brad is newer to Grace, but has been here for a few years, with mom, Sandy, and brother, Grant. Make them feel part of the family. Brad and Becky are outstanding, strong Christians. Saturday is a joyful day for them. You should go to the wedding so you can rejoice with those who rejoice.
2.    As this young Christian couple starts out their marriage, your presence at the wedding ceremony is an encouragement to them. You are taking on the role of a witness to their covenant with God and each other. The ministry of being present is often overlooked today. If I am not “performing” I don’t need to go is the frequent sentiment. But there is an encouraging ministry of just being present, being a witness.
3.    The ceremony itself is a celebration of God’s grace, God’s providence and Christ’s Gospel. The ceremony itself, especially the vows, remind us of the solemnity of marriage as a Divine institution, which can spur us on in pursuing our Christ-centered marriages. It also points us to the final Wedding Feast of the Lamb. There won’t be any funerals in heaven, but there will be wedding!
4.    Sometimes single people don’t like going to weddings because they want to be married but are not. Sometimes people with painful marriages avoid weddings because it stirs up all their disappointment with their own marriages. We really should not be governed by such self-absorbed principles, we should instead be putting others above ourselves in the humility of Christ.
There are other reasons for going, but I think these are good ones.  I hope, because of your love for the family of God, you have the conviction, “Always go to the funeral…. Always go to the wedding.” If you are providentially hindered, look for ways to express your congratulations and encouragement to them.
Glad I’m a part of the family of God,