Tag Archives: wedding

More response to Jill and Kevin

I want to cut and paste the responses I got to this post on facebook. Some very thoughtful pastors had very interesting things to say.

I want to be clear that my previous post was not intended to be directed at Jill and Kevin. I don’t know Jill and Kevin. I did not see the rest of the service. Perhaps the pastor preached about the joyful dance that was meant to honor God. Perhaps they are devoted Christians, who instead of going on a honeymoon, went to Liberia to build a school. Perhaps they are egotistical jerks that are lapping up their new-found fame.  Perhaps they are somewhere in between.  I have no idea. Is this ceremony in any way indicative of the long-term success of their marriage? Not any more than any service is.

Every wedding is nearly meaningless to the marriage. A marriage is about deciding everyday to love, honor, care for and respect your spouse. There is no way to tell from any wedding ceremony if those two people will honor their vows in their heart. What I can say is this – the divorce rate for marriages that are lived in God, that are drenched in sincere prayer and heart-felt worship, with self-sacrifice, respect, love, honor, and faithfulness (and faithfulness is about a lot more than who one has sex with), is zero percent.

My post was about me thinking about what I would do if someone approached me with this idea. My response would depend on the couple and the situation.
My post was about the “look-at-me” attitude that pervades our culture – where fame is valued over humility and material gain is valued over sacrifice. Is this an example of it? Not in and of itself, but the response by the media, the recreations of it on morning shows, and the imitations of it that are sure to come, give me pause.

There is so much that I love about this video – I wish there was more of this kind of thing in church. Part of why it is so shocking is that people are dancing and having a good time in a sanctuary – which is sad. I can imagine how cool it would be if every Sunday morning the elements for Communion, the Bible, the liturgist, pastor, ushers, and other participants came into the sanctuary like this?

I could imagine how cool it would be if the offering were more like this? What if people came to bring their offering in song and dance instead of sitting like they were at a funeral – Or what about a funeral for that matter? I hope that when I die people can dance like this, not cause they’re happy I’m gone, but to celebrate a life well lived. I’m actually getting tears as I type this because I pray with all of my heart that more people could experience worship with this kind of joy.

So Kelly, please don’t think that I am judging anyone in this video. You think that God was smiling on them – I think you’re right. I think God celebrates with us during good times, and weeps with us during hard times, especially if we invite God to do so.

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Jill and Kevin’s Wedding Entrance

This is the lastest viral video to hit it big on the internet, and it is the first which to me has some theological implications.

I have been thinking a lot about this clip. As a pastor, I find myself wondering what I would do if a couple approached me with this idea. As of right now, I have two weddings on my calendar. It’s unlikely that either of these weddings will feature a dance-line processional, but given the popularity of this video, I can’t help but feel that in the course of my career, it’s going to come up.

Let me begin by saying that my reaction has absolutely nothing to do with this couple in particular. I have to admit I was moved by this video. The spirit of joy and celebration was evident – and not just in the dance moves. It was clear that this wedding was a celebration. Surely weddings are celebrations. The problem I consider is this: what are we celebrating?

It is not difficult to convince most couples that a wedding is about celebrating. The problem is that the celebration usually focuses on the bride and groom and the love they share. Yes, a wedding is about celebrating the love between two people, but it needs to be more. Too many weddings are little more than a narcistic celebration of wealth, materialism, and a romanticized, commercialized version of “love” that has little to do with Biblical love, faith, devotion, or self-sacrifice.

Seriously, ask a pastor you know if they would rather do a funeral or a wedding. I’m guessing the answer would surprise you.

The reason is because at most weddings God is an afterthought. The sanctuary is not so much a sacred space for worship as it is a pretty room with colorful windows and a good sound system. The congregation is actually carefully selected and invited guests. The pastor is usually chosen because they kind of “go with the church.” And of course, the ceremony is a not a time to encounter the divine and to worship God; it is just a troublesome ritual that has to be done before we get to the good part.

If a couple came to me and wanted to begin their wedding like this, I am not sure how I would react. It would probably depend on the couple. I can imagine a couple that really wanted to express their joy through dance. Dance has always been a part of worship, and I would be in favor of an entrance such as this if it were a part of a larger ceremony that celebrated God’s presence in their lives.

I can also imagine a couple that would use this as little more than another way to show everyone how great they are. If a couple, “saw it on youtube, and thought it would be fun,” I don’t think I’d be real supportive. Given the general self-centered, God-ignoring state of our culture, it would be difficult for me to not presume that most couples wanting to do a dance like this would be in this category.

Yes, this appears to be a wonderful celebration. I just have to ask, who is being celebrated?


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