Friday, June 8, 2018

Wedding Season

Written by  Catherine Renneberg

Until this year I forgot how much I love weddings. Before this season, I had not been to a wedding in a few years, but now I find myself planning to attend seven weddings this year! Seven different couples that are so close to me in different ways, all with whom I can’t wait to celebrate their special day.

The number of weddings I am going to this year might end up seeming like a marathon perhaps, but I am anticipating great joy to come from all these festivities. I love weddings for many reasons – I’ve always loved to dance, and getting a chance to reunite with mutual friends and far away family is always a treat. But last weekend as I watched a close friend and her new husband walk out of the church to begin their lives together as spouses, I was struck by something deeper than I had expected.

My friend standing next to me observed the bride and groom’s enthrallment, as they seemed to literally and sincerely be unable to see anyone other than each other: “He’s obsessed with her,” she whispered to me.

And it was then that I remembered the deeper meaning of marriage that is too easy to forget amongst the white doilies and bouquet tosses: Marriage is meant as an image and symbol of God’s love! God is obsessed with us, His people and church! The personal, sacrificing, all-in love that we see in both newlyweds and long time lovers is just a glimpse into the heart of God. It was in that moment that I was reminded too of the romance of God’s love, shown most clearly in the way that the groom gazed at His bride. He longs for us and has passionately fought to be in relationship with us!


From what I’ve heard, all marriages have their ups and downs, but God shows us that we are called to free, faithful, fruitful, and total relationships with one another. We are to love one another as He loved us, and that love is most clear in reference to a husband and his wife. The greatest act of love was God freely, faithfully, fruitfully, and totally giving up His body on the cross out of love for us, and we too are called to love each other with that same intensity, and often the same sacrifice and perseverance! While this is an enormous and even overwhelming standard, St. Therese of Lisieux’s Little Way reminds me that love is all about the little things, and that heroic virtue is cultivated simply by checking my self-will, keeping back an impatient answer, rendering a small service in a quiet way, and a hundred other similar things. I take great hope that to love like God and respond to His friendship starts simply at volunteering to do the dishes or offer a smile to someone whom I do not know. These little sparks of kindness, done out of love for God and those around me, are soon fanned into passion and zeal driven by the Holy Spirit.

While my feet may get tired of all the dancing, my heart needs to be reminded of the love that God has for me, shown best in the two people standing at the front of the church professing their love for each other. With that I continue on in the little day to day moments, refreshed by God’s faithfulness to us, His bride.

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