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Dearly Beloved,

“Mawage, mawage is what bwings us togeva…today.” 

“The Princess Bride” is an old classic about true love. In the wedding scene where Prince Humperdink is forcing Princess Buttercup to be his bride, we see a ceremony fraught with disaster, humour and this famous speech quoted above given by the priest is painfully continuing throughout all of the calamity as Westley is storming the castle to rescue his true love Princess Buttercup. Finally, we hear Humperdink cut off the priest and say, “Man and Wife. Say man and wife!!” so they could hurry up and be done with it and escape before Westley and his motley crew got in. I’ll let you watch the movie to find out what happens next. 

We are in the midst of a five-week Dearly Beloved series on celebrating Christian ceremony. This week I want to share a few thoughts with you on weddings. 

Though painfully slow and drawn out, the priest was right when he said that mawage, excuse me, marriage is what brings us together for the wedding ceremony. As believers, we believe that marriage is a covenant to one another as man and wife with Christ at the center. As Mike wrote last week, covenant is the deepest possible form of commitment and relationship. Marriage is the covenant, the wedding is the ceremony where the covenant is pronounced before God and in front of witnesses. It’s holy and sacred. 

God models covenant for us in scripture by giving himself completely, exclusively and permanently to us and invites us to reciprocate. Marriage is a living illustration that embodies this covenant in relationship and bears witness to the world of God’s self-giving love. 

In the last 20 years or so, weddings have become increasingly casual and curated by the couple. While the casual nature or location of a wedding is not an issue, the trend has also been for our vows to one another to become decreasingly committal in the truest sense of promise. A flimsy promise leaves lots of ‘wiggle room’ for that promise to be broken. This is why, in Comox Pentecostal Church when two Christians are getting married, in our church building or a beautiful beach location, we are happy to insist on including Christ and covenant in the ceremony. 

A wedding is not just a formality that we can rush through flippantly. It is also not just a party to celebrate the love of two people. It is a deeply meaningful ceremony in which we receive the divine blessing and grace of God over our relationship, and promise that same Christ-like self-giving love to one another. That is indeed cause for celebration!

Interestingly, I’m writing this blog to you today from the honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls! It is a stunning display of God’s creation, just as a wedding and marriage can be.

Pastor Laura