1. Marriage Ceremonies
People these days show up at the wedding reception to greet the newlywed couple, to give wedding presents and to take part in the marriage feast. But quite a lot of them do not bother to attend the church when the couple take their marriage vows. This saddens me. I’m not married but the vows never fail to amaze me. Isn’t it strange and beautiful that two persons are joined as one and that the partners take a vow before God and other people:
to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.
What human relationship can be deeper than that? But we fail to realize the importance of such vows and even trivialize it, treating it as a formality. If couples really mean those words when they utter them on their wedding day, divorce rates will nose dive and love will not stop to blossom. When Christ reconciles us back to God, he also reconciles us one to another and the deepest of human relationships is the bond of marriage.
Last Sunday after morning church service, a girl was baptized. All the heavens rejoice when a single person comes to believe Jesus Christ and confess him as Lord and Savior. But majority of the church members left and didn’t stay back to rejoice with the heavens. The significance of baptism goes deep down to the core of Christian faith. In baptism, we are declaring before God and people that our old selves with all our sins have been nailed to the cross. And with the resurrection of Christ, we rise as new persons. When the girl came out of the pool, my heart rejoiced and I shook hands with her, ‘welcome to the family’.
What are of immense value, we have trivialized while we bicker and make important the secondary things. Sociologist and Theologian Tony Campolo in one of his talk shows shared a childhood experience:
One night, he and his friends broke into a store. They didn’t steal anything but just to play a prank on people, they changed the price tags of all the items. The next morning, those who turned up at the store were in for a real surprise. Things that are of immense value were selling at a few cents while items which aren’t worth much were sold at such heavy prices.
That’s what the devil has done in our times. The price tags are all changed so that the things that we should value are made to look worthless and we value things that are not of any lasting value.