Sunday, July 26, 2009

"I Love Weddings!"

I’m sitting on a velvety gray armchair here at the Starbucks in Muskegon, Michigan, and it’s the day after my big sister’s wedding. The crazy thing is that my new brother-in-law, Jared, is also the big brother to one of my best friends from Bible school, Shelley. God has been gracious to me. He’s given me so many relationships with some incredible brothers and sisters in Christ – like-minded friends who are faithful to encourage and exhort me.

Our two families (Riepmas & Turners) really hit it off. What a celebration! Becca especially was thankful for the beautiful weather God gave us yesterday. She wanted a beach wedding, and the rain held off just long enough for the ceremony and some gorgeous shoreline photos afterward (soon to post!).

But when all the planning, preparation, and primping finally came to a head, I wasn’t just thankful for the weather. There was so much about Becs and Jared’s wedding that moved me deeply. I got to stand right next to my sister and watch her husband’s face as he pledged to love her as Christ loves His Bride, the Church. I also got to look out into the faces of those who came to show their love and support. I stood there, and one of my best friends in the world was directly in front of me sitting in the second row... Less then a year and half ago, Shelley and I were there when Becca and Jared met, and we’ve had the amazing privilege of watching their relationship grow into something beautiful and glorifying to the Lord.

But my favorite moment took place toward the end of the ceremony: Picture a petite and radiant bride in a white, full-length gown. Her hair is perfect. Her make-up is perfect. Her dress is perfect. She’s beautiful, most of all because she’s in love. Now picture that same bride kneeling in the sand, pouring water over the feet of her groom. He is sitting down, and after setting aside the glass pitcher, she dries each foot with a white towel. She takes his place in the chair and two delicate feet emerge. The first is carefully washed and dried, and he leans lower still, placing a soft kiss. More water, and another kiss follows.

Becs and Jared chose to wash each other's feet as a symbol of the servant hood they are committing to. As they washed, my dad explained the scriptural significance to those watching. I was overwhelmed, not only with the incredible example of a servant’s heart that I have witnessed in my sister, but in that moment...Christ’s love overwhelmed me. Love is most certainly, a decision. And Christ chose to love us enough to die in our place. What wondrous love is this!? Needless to say, I was bawling during the ceremony, and again when I gave my toast to the newly-weds.

God is so good. I have seen Christ’s life very much alive and active in those who have believed Him. Praise His name for a beautiful day! A beauty above and beyond just the weather.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Becca & Jared

Here's the photo story that was supposed to be finished in time to show at their "Early Reception" (that was today!). Oh well...enjoy it now! And thanks to all those who supported Becs & Jared today by coming out to celebrate at our church. Our families really appreciate all your love and prayers. :)