Like many of you, I am extremely grateful for the ability to flip the calendar over and dream/hope for a better tomorrow. As we have all said and reflected on many times, 2020 has been quite the year. And…as all of us are keenly aware, what was with us in 2020 is still with us in 2021.
At the time of this writing, I am currently watching the news of the White House in Washington DC get ransacked by protestors, and I couldn’t help but start to list the many other things in our world right now that divide us. It got me thinking about a blog that I wrote six years ago that I think is worth pulling out of the vault and sharing with you.
A Church, A School, and A Wedding
Heidi and I were married in a vineyard—an active winery that makes quality wine. The sermon of the wedding ceremony included some messaging around Jesus’ very first miracle of turning water into wine and we participated in our very first communion together as a married couple in front of a whole “host of witnesses.”
During our dating and fiancé/fiancée relationship time, there were two important groups/institutions/communities that we found ourselves connected to most of the time. It was our church and our school. In both communities, although there was much happiness and joy, there was also some significant brokenness and sadness. Our church had just recently gone through a “split” and our school was going through some difficult personnel changes that were not pretty. In short, there was pain and there was hurt.
We didn’t over think the decision to invite everyone in our church to our wedding—we just did it. We didn’t over think inviting a large percentage of our school community (mostly staff)—we just did it.
What happened over the 4-6 hours that constituted our wedding day (ceremony, dinner, and dancing), I believe was completely God ordained and solidified my faith in a God who gives us glimpses of His glory to call us closer to Him. We experienced this on our wedding day.
As a couple of broken communities, we partook in a feast together. We sat down together at the table and put aside our issues. Yes, there were certainly issues, but we parked them at the door (or at the trellis).We laughed, we cried, we ate good food, and we drank good wine. We sat outside in the beauty of God’s creation and we experienced the pureness of God’s goodness. We then, transitioned into a night of dancing and we all danced together, often with each other and more often in large groups and we laughed some more. Of course, by and large, Heidi and I were mostly thinking about ourselves, especially me (we were newlyweds after all!), and we had a fun time even though not all of it was completely perfect.
But we were mostly oblivious to the glimpse of glory I mentioned above. God uses earthly experiences to grant us glimpses of His Glory and coming to a feast is one of those experiences, which is why “The Table” or “The Feast” are important biblical metaphors that carry important messaging that we continue to experience in our everyday lives. He desires us and our communities to be whole, but our sin messes this up. We all long for wholeness and when we get these glimpses…it draws us closer to Him.
Heidi and I have been married for more than 20 years, and brokenness and fractured relationships have been a part of Christian communities for a long time. Today, this continues—we disagree on many fronts—and perhaps now more than ever, at least this is what it seems like as we navigate our current realities.
If there is anything I long for right now for the year 2021, it is glimpses of glory that draw us closer to our Lord. It’s my hope that we as a community can all experience these. What are your glimpses of glory?