This weekend I attended the wedding of my brother – in- law, Ben. He and Chelsea were married on Saturday. The wedding took place in Porte, Houston although he and his bride both live in Chicago. Why did I find this interesting? In part, because the majority of people who came travelled a great distance to get there. They came from DC, California, Chicago, Tennessee, New Mexico – all to be there and celebrate. You see, Ben and Chelsea are famous for their gift of friendship and in their circle of friends they have attended numerous weddings throughout the years. What an outpouring of friendship was reciprocated this weekend.
Furthermore, the wedding itself was such an encouragement. During their ceremony, they had special prayers for the sanctity of life, wisdom for governmental leaders, the persecuted church ( especially in Syria), and for those fighting in the military. I have been to many weddings in my lifetime, but none that I can remember that specifically prayed for the unborn, the church, and governmental leaders as part of their special day. This gives me such hope for this generation of millennials.
Finally, as they took their vows the emphasis was placed on covenant. Hearing the invitation for God to be at the center of all resonated in my spirit. God is a God of covenant. He established the sacrament of marriage for many reasons, but perhaps one that is sometimes forgotten is that He is the one who connects and holds us in the most intimate of relationships with each other. He is faithful to do the impossible, to make one out of two – a seeming paradox of logic, but a true miracle of love.
The Lord spoke to me through this wedding weekend in three specific ways:
One, He is a gatherer. He is the One who draws from near and far. As we traveled to the wedding, we had a phone call with a pastor in Georgia. She shared how she and her husband had heard of United Cry on a radio program and clearly felt they were to come. They are renting busses and bringing their church. She shared with my wife, “it is a far distance from Georgia to Washington DC” but they were committed to come. The Lord highlighted that commitment of coming by the faithful outpouring of community at the wedding.
Secondly, praying for life, the church, and government at a wedding underscored what is on the Lord’s heart in this hour. On a day of covenant, He highlighted his passion for the eternal – life, the body of Christ, and righteousness. These are the very things that DC16 is crying out for at the nation’s capital on April 9th: repentance, a restored awakened church, and righteous leaders in pulpits engaging culture with truth.
Truly, this wedding was a reminder of our covenant God. His promises are true and He redeems and restores in ways we have yet to see. When we pledge our lives to Him, he pledges His to us. When we gather in His name, He promises to be in our midst. When we cry out, He promises to answer. That is why on April 9, the prayer will be Come and have your way, Lord Jesus. Restore our land, redeem your people. May righteousness be established in your name. To God be the Glory!
God encountered me at a wedding in an unexpected way. My prayer is that just as Jesus showed up at a wedding in Cana and revealed his miraculous ways, that this season will be one of encounter with God in supernatural ways. Please make plans to join with us on April 9, 2016 at the Lincoln Memorial.