It might seem odd that someone who has for years been down on the “sermon” as a method might be found on that very idea’s upside– in miniature, at least — when planning his own wedding. On the positive side of the ceremonial (ceremonious?) speaking enterprise, I thought I’d list for you the topics of the short talks in our wedding. Then, Fox-like¹, you can decide if there is any potential application in your church in or other scenaria. . . .
For our wedding in 2004, we asked various Christian friends for short talks on the following topics:
- living in God’s created world
- fanning the flame of worship in the home
- the power of God to change, malleable lives
- personal devotional life
- past, present, future
- communication and friendship
- nurturing, caring for each other
- theology of marriage, two becoming one, intimacy
- trusting in the face of difficult circumstances
- focusing on Jesus through it all, using Pauline exhortations
These short talks were given in that order by Mark, Kent, Denis, Deborah, Gerald (my dad), Allen, Marietta, us, Chris, Monte, and Greg. Each person was chosen because of relationship and/or how we perceived the ability of the person to speak to the particular topic.
I also want to affirm that worship was a part of our wedding. Not a liturgical set that constitutes for some what they think of as worship, but God-directed, adoring, reverent communication from scripture and song. Our friend Clarissa Cox played and sang “I Adore You,” among others, and this song was no merely human love song.
No wedding goes off without a hitch. (Ha.) Ours went pretty seamlessly, although it was probably interminably long for the taste of some. But the real clunker was during the reception in a tea room in Atchison, Kansas: tornado sirens! By that time, the wedding was complete, but the noise and concern made for some excitement. A fair amount of damage was done by tornados that afternoon and evening to farms and structures, but we never heard of lives lost.
We’ve been through quite a lot together in the nearly 8 years of marriage, not to mention the “dating” time before that. It’s not as though the talks at our wedding have made material difference, but those people are still dear to us, and we have it all on video, so I think we’ll pop the DVD in the player soon and revisit.
As we come to crossroads points, it is always good to have good friends who have something to offer and who care.
¹Fox News claims to be “fair and balanced” and invites its readers and viewers to decide for themselves. I happen to think they’re more fair than other news shows, but perhaps not more balanced. I’m not sure I’m either, but if I have to choose, I’ll choose “fair.”