Monday, October 01, 2007

96 Days ~ Witnessing and Sharing in the Joy

Those whom I have seen in the past couple of days are probably getting tired of me saying that I feel like I ran a marathon this weekend. I was so worn out from the weekend that I slept for nine hours solid last night. Nine hours is unheard of in my world. Although I was exhausted, it was well worth the time--and voice--spent. When I was first asked to sing in my dear friend's wedding, along with our praise band from church, I was in disbelief at the song list she handed over. Ten songs! Ten songs instrumental? No no, that would be ten songs she was asking me to sing during the ceremony. Whew...I knew that my pipes were about to be put to the test, and I admittedly don't have a great deal of vocal endurance. The rehearsal was shaky, partly due to feeling like I was having to remind some of those around me that we needed to perform the music as the bride requested, rather than throw in our own renditions.... If she asked specifically for me to sing something acapella at this point during the service, then we needed be willing as a team to serve the bride and groom in that way. If she requested that the key be changed in order that I sing more comfortably, then we needed to graciously agree to do so. I wasn't terribly surprised at the rehearsal being a little scattered, and thankfully the wedding party was not distracted by our practice and working out of the kinks. I was still a little nervous, though, and even moreso as I drove home and felt the tension in my throat.

However, the Lord was glorified and I was more than honored to take part in what was a true worship experience! Even though the ceremony was longer than any I have ever attended, the celebration was glorious. Each element of the ceremony was purposeful, and the transition from one thing to the next was seamless. I was particularly moved when Lynn walked down at the last verse of "Be Thou My Vision," and for a moment we caught a glimpse of that vision glorious of the Bride walking toward the Bridegroom. There were minimal tears shed on her part; instead, she was beaming in inexpressible joy throughout the hour. Our pastor gave an incredibly Christ-centered sermon, addressing first those who may not be believers and then ending with the Church and the couple particularly. The picture before me was the embodiment of Psalm 16, "at Your right hand are pleasures evermore," Ephesians 5, "as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her," the reality of the Gospel, and what better song to sing together as witnesses to this union of two than, "Then sings my soul..." It was absolutely beautiful.

I teared up early in the service as we were leading the congregation in singing "Great is Thy Faithfulness." I happened to look up during the chorus just as Lynn was looking back at me from where she was standing next to her groom. She had an indescribable expression as she sang, "All I have needed Thy hand hath provided," and I was moved to praise for how good the Lord truly is to His children. This marriage ceremony was a reminder of God's steadfast love and how that was poured out through His Son who has provided us riches and goodness measures beyond what we ever deserved. And to think that He specifically designed marriage to reflect and live out such love, grace, and sacrifice for another...

I did not think to bring a camera to the wedding (silly, yes), but here are some from a sweet sister who was also there to witness the joyous celebration. You can also see more details from the wedding on her

The handsome groom ~ The bride's pastor from her hometown who gave the opening prayer and giving away of the bride ~ Our beloved pastor who gave the sermon
"Til death do us part..."

The beautiful bride! I should not have been surprised at how carefully she thought through each detail of the reception, details fitting for anyone present. There was even a children's buffet and corner of the room piled with entertaining toys and games. And I must say, I was also quite impressed by the homemade addition she made to her gown up at the neckline!


Funderstorm said...

Wow. I wish I could've witnessed that as well. It's sounds wonderful. What did other guests have to say? See you soon. 44 days?

Gretchen said...

Wow! Sounds like a beautiful wedding! Thanks for posting on it, I just loved hearing about someone doing their wedding so well and pointing to Christ!

Funderstorm said...

I can see where I rank. I meant 44 days til I see you at the shower. 94 til the wedding! Goober. Make that Lovestruck Goober. :)