The First Wedding Deaf Jedi Did Preach…
Was to certain Tennessee rednecks, so happy was each…
As the esteemed Archer of the Forest says, congrats to Nick and Sandy on their wedding! And many thanks to them for tapping me to be their officiant.
This wedding was a small, semi-formal wedding. It was a lot of fun for all of us, and I wrote the liturgy myself. I eschewed the traditional “here comes the bride, to have and to hold” stuff for something I felt was more biblical and had much more meaning. My original post on the topic can be found here.
Tricia and I went to the prayer room in the church about 15 minutes beforehand and prayed. I was nervous as a chihuahua, and usually when I get nervous before preaching, I am one happy camper. No, seriously, I’ve always wanted to be nervous beforehand. Nervousness reminds me to put my trust completely in God and the power of His Holy Spirit. I’ve never done bad when I’ve been nervous beforehand. On the other hand, when I have not been nervous prior, I’ve never done well. This day, I told myself, “Steve, just preach what you wrote and not a lick more. If you really do believe God put this liturgy on your heart, just preach what’s on the paper and let God do the rest. Get yourself out of the way.”
So we got up there, and after running through the wedding 5 or 6 times the previous evening, this time it went off without a hitch. Smooth and flawless. Okay, I did goof once, but no one really knew the difference. I was supposed to (according to the liturgy I wrote) tell everyone to sit down after the bride was given away, but I launched right into my scripture for the homily. I looked up while reciting the scripture, and as I looked at the couple I noticed everyone was still standing. In the back of my head I was thinking, “Why in the world are they…oh. I’ll fix that.” Right when I finished the verse, I told everyone to sit, and no one was wiser. *stupid silly grin*
My liturgy was basically an exposition of marriage according to Ephesians 5:22-33. In that exposition, I highlight the roles of the husband and wife and how those roles fit together. I then had the congregation pledge their love and support, had the parents and family pledge the same, and then finally the couple pledged themselves to each other.
The liturgy went over big with this audience, and I was pleased. It was just more proof of the power of the Word to convict and inspire. There was nothing that I did other than speak the Word to get such a great audience, the power of God did all that. I was told by several people that I had given the best wedding sermon they’d ever heard, and several ladies told me that if and when they get married they want me to do it. Nick told me, “see, you’re drummin’ up bidness already!” Several of my family friends from home were in attendance, all of whom know me pretty well, and none of them could believe this was my first wedding.
That was a humbling experience to stand before what was obvious to me was the work of the Holy Spirit in the audience and in the couple. It made me realize that oftentimes I (and others) put too much stock in our ability to preach and not enough in the power of God’s revelation. I’m very thankful to Nick and Sandy for calling me to do their wedding, because it has given me a new experience of God’s work!