Two years ago today was a momentous day – one I’ll never forget.
I say that, but the truth is, I’ve already started to forget so much about my wedding day. The sermon, the toasts, the greetings of friends. If I don’t have written record or pictorial proof, chances are I’ve already started to forget – with no way to reclaim those moments.
Which is why, here, on our second anniversary, I want to record the details I most don’t want to forget.
I don’t want to forget…
My girlfriends helping me dress, bustling on the other side of the hall to prepare a luncheon for the party. The surprising arrival of my brother and his pregnant wife and daughter. Skyping with my other brother, halfway around the world, before the day began. My family, doing what my family does best – making things happen. Extended family arriving in great swaths. People from church in Columbus, from church in Lincoln, from my childhood church. My teammates from the Jacksonville Summer Training Program. Charlotte, who knew us both when, telling me in the receiving line: “You and Daniel – if only I’d have thought of it sooner.”
All of them expressing their support, rejoicing in God’s provision, rooting for our marriage.
I lightly adapted the text from The Book of Common Prayer for our order of service. I answered “I will” when our pastor asked me if I would “take Daniel to be your husband, to live with him in holy marriage according to the Word of God? Will you love him, comfort him, honor him, obey him, and keep him in sickness and in health and, forsaking all others, be wife to him as long as you both shall live?”
I promised God that day that I would be wife to Daniel. I promised to live with him in holy marriage, not a secular union. To love him, to comfort him, to honor him, to obey him.
I made a solemn vow before God and the congregation:
“I, Rebekah, take you, Daniel, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part. To this, I pledge you my faithfulness.”
I want to remember those promises. I want to keep those promises.
It’s normal to have Scripture readings and songs at a wedding. It’s normal for these readings and songs to elevate love, to proclaim love’s worth, to delight in love.
And believe me, Daniel and I enjoy love.
But we wanted our wedding to elevate something else. But that’s not quite right either. We wanted our wedding to elevate someone else.
We chose Colossians 1:15-23 for a reading:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
We sang two congregational hymns – one looking backward at the faithfulness of God (“Great is Thy Faithfulness”), one looking forward, petitioning God to be before us (Be Thou My Vision).
Because we didn’t want our wedding prayer to be all about us. We didn’t want our marriage to be all about us. We wanted our marriage to be all about Christ.
I never want to forget that. I always want to live that. I want that day’s passion for Christ’s preeminence to be every day’s passion.