I saw something at a wedding today I had not seen before. Apparently the "new thing" is unity sand. Instead of lighting a unity candle, the bride and groom each pour their own vial of individually colored sand into a bowl, and the two become one... symbolizing the unity of the man and woman. It's a great idea.
At our wedding almost 24 years ago, my wife and I lit our unity candle together. But within a few moments it caught a breeze and burned out. My much older brother had a lighter in his pocket, so he re-lit the candle. I guess it didn't matter much, because the marriage has lasted.
Unlike most Ministers I've spoken with, I would much rather perform a wedding than a funeral. I get a kick out of them. It's a pleasure to help the bride and groom through their day, acting as a sort of mediator, calming their nerves, and having the best view in the whole church as they repeat their vows. There's still this awesome feeling I have at weddings and baptisms that seems to fairly scream, "Who am I to be standing here doing this? What right do I have to baptize like John the Baptist did? What right do I have to pronounce anybody man and wife?"
I hope I never lose that feeling. I pray that every time I act as God's messenger; the hands and feet of Jesus, that I stand in awe of what a privilege it really is to serve Him. It's not always easy. Ours is not a profession that has the respect it once did. Criticism and ridicule are the order of the day and our reward for standing up for the truth in a post-modern generation. So it's days like this that make it all worthwhile. The smiles, the tears, the relief the couples feel when I pronounce them husband and wife... yeah. That's the payoff.
Thank you God, for letting me be a part of your divine plans. You ARE awesome!