Just got back from officiating at a wedding. I always appreciate the kind remarks about a nice service. Today, I heard a number of comments about how nice it was to be at a Christian wedding, as if it had been ages since various folks had seen such a thing.
That got me to thinking about the uniqueness of a truly Christian wedding, not so much the format and music, but the concept of what is happening at a wedding. A Christian wedding is the creation, by God, of a new family. That is, God is authorizing a man and woman to help each other live well, bear children and build society. A Christian wedding does not center only on the Bride and Groom, but on two families who are being joined, the witnesses to the vows, and God himself. A Christian wedding is about private, social and religious obligations and privileges.
I think that what several people were telling me today was that the weddings they have experienced have been centered almost exclusively around the happy couple. Such weddings are usually a lot of fun, but they lack a great deal of substance, portraying life as something essentially all about us and our current desires.
I left, not angry at our society, but sad that it is becoming so shallow. And I am reminded how biblical religion can make great contributions to social stability through the shaping of fundamental institutions.