Last night I was involved for 5 hours in a wedding rehearsal, the BBQ afterwards, and all the activities surrounding the celebration of two people being married. Family and friends have arrived from all over the country to celebrate with the bride and groom on their special day and I have the honor of being in the middle of the activities and the two day party that is taking place. Today – the wedding (outside in 30C weather) with the suits, the dresses, the flowers, the decorations, the dinner, the speeches, the dance and the booze. It will be a long day but one custom designed for a soul winner even as last night was.
Last night there were 25 people at the wedding rehearsal – I got to build some general relationships. Then, at the BBQ supper at the home of one of the wedding party, I had the opportunity to sit and chat with a number of people about the life-changing Gospel of the Kingdom and the love of God as found only in Jesus Christ. That’s why I went and invested the time.
Today, I will present the Gospel to the 125 who are expected at the wedding and do so in such a way that it will hopefully lead to some good conversations in the 90 minute gap between the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception (pictures being taken) and then again with those who are stuck sitting at the same table I will be at during the supper and events immediately after we have eaten. I am going in focused and intentional about why I am there.
This is not a Christian wedding because the couple being married are not Christians. However, over the last few months of regular meetings I have come to know them, their hopes and dreams, and have earned their respect and their trust. They are open to continuing to relate to me after the wedding is all over and everyone has gone home. So, it will be a “secular” wedding ceremony with the Gospel presented during the “Pastor’s Talk.” Always present the Gospel – because many in attendance only ever “go to church” for weddings and funerals. Make the most of every opportunity.
And how did I get involved in all this in the first place? Easy – 15 years ago I was friendly with both of these young people when they were working in the kitchen of a now defunct restaurant here in the city in which I live. The groom’s parents owned the restaurant and I became decent friends with them as well and over time became very involved in the family – even officiating at the wedding of the parents of today’s groom. His parents have since moved to the west coast of this nation but will be back for their son’s wedding – and will again hear the Gospel presented clearly as it was presented at their own wedding so many years ago. So, when he wanted to get married – I was the only pastor or priest that he knew and he had felt accepted and loved when relating in the past so gave me a call.
Your prayers for this young couple and all those at the wedding this afternoon and the reception this evening would be greatly appreciated.