It was a joy to celebrate the wedding of my daughter and son-in-law yesterday. Months of planning and preparation ended in a wonderful celebration. It was perfect. A few things did not go as planned but it was a spectacular celebration. In truth, this was their second wedding. The first was a small, private one, set before my son-in-law was deployed by the US army. We knew then that we would be holding a larger one and that time came to be yesterday.
I remember weddings that I attended as a child. Everyone was white and spoke English and most went to Protestant churches. If there was someone not fitting that description, those people stood out as being different. Most of us back then grew up in homogenous areas. Times have changed.
My son-in-law and his family came to this country from Ecuador. Many have good English skills but not all of them do. This wedding was bi-lingual. We relied heavily on Spanish speaking friends to do this well. A number of our friends are Asian and African American. Most don’t identify as “Protestant” or attend church even if they would refer to themselves as Protestant. They honored us by their attendance. The “village” who joined us to bless and honor this new couple was composed looked and sounded very differently than the ones that I remember from my childhood.
The village that we live in has changed yet it is just as important as it ever was. Couples, individuals and children all depend on the support of the broader community. The village is different looking but just as important. At times, we in churches that thrived in homogenous villages forget that the villages have changed. It hurts us when we fail to remember this. I pray that we will really learn this and remember to let this truth guide us.
To read more of Pastor Mark’s writings, please order a copy of his book: https://deepriverbooks.com/books/the-circle-of-seven/