Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here, under the watchful eye of God, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony. We have assembled here today every thing that it takes to make a marriage.
â—We have the honor of an invited gathering of loved ones:
â—close friends who will hear James and Kate make solemn promises to each other, and who will be from now on a company of witnesses to hold the bride and groom to those vows in coming years.
â—We have the families that nurtured James and Kate, gave them their models of Christian marriage, and prepared them for this day.
â—We have all the appropriate paperwork from the State of California, making this private relationship into a public witness and testimony to a culture rapidly rejecting and relativizing the meaning of marriage.
â—We are in church: we have come to the house of God to witness the creation of a new household within the family of God. James has already prepared a house to live in, and Kate has made it a home.
â—And look here: We have a beautiful bride and a handsome groom, who look just like the little characters on top of a wedding cake.
â—We have a maid of honor, a best man, a preacher, a flower girl, and a ring bearer. We have music, we have flowers, we have candles.
â—Our hearts are prepared: We have great joy over the happiness you bring each other, deep gratitude to God for the blessing of this union, and exuberant confidence for your common future.
â—The bride and groom have brought their love for each other: all the affection, delight, tenderness, unselfishness, caring, and earnestness that have characterized their relationship up to now.
â—They have brought mental and spiritual preparation to this day, complete with a serious frame of mind and even the homework of having a biblical theology of marriage.
â—And all of this has been brought together under the authority of the word of God, his great promise and command. For marriage is not our own idea, but Godâ€™s. James and Kate seek to follow Godâ€™s whole design wholeheartedly, not picking and choosing the parts of marriage that suit them, as if they were free to parcel it out according to their own wisdom or wishes; but embracing all of Godâ€™s plan for a man and a woman to share their lives totally.
This may be a small wedding, but it is obviously for a big marriage, big with the abundance of Godâ€™s blessing: Full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and flowing over in abundance.