I am writing this with a head full of cotton wool which is how I normally feel after a migraine that would fell a horse so please excuse any extra incoherence. It’s been an “interesting” weekend and just wanted to share a couple of bits with you – do what you will with them.
Went to see a wedding on Saturday. Working in a church has meant that I have been to a lot of weddings as I think I have said before but I have to tell you that Saturday was one of the loveliest. There are a lot of things that Christians don’t do well. No time or inclination to give you a list here but when Christians do a wedding well – they really do it well. A Christmas wedding with evergreen on the pews and a huge twinkling Christmas tree in the corner, AND we got to sing “Oh Come All Ye Faithful.” which was lovely. Everyone sang with gusto as well which is usually confined to Christian weddings because everyone knows the tunes. (I went to wedding where we sang – barely – “We plough the fields and scatter.” I thought it was because we were in Wales and close to the land and all that but apparently not. It was because the bride and groom had thought that we would all be singing Whitney Houston songs and when they were forced to pick a hymn, that was the only one they knew.)
Anyway – back to the lovely wedding. I don’t know if it was because the bride and groom are dancers and all their friends were there but the whole congregation was scoring very high on the beauty-ness-ometer. As Head of House put it “There is a lot of lusciousness in here today” which was very true. I love the West Country sometimes – lots of men with longer hair than their girlfriends and yet – somehow, down here it works. Then the bride walks in and she hasn’t come dressed as meringue – she has come in beautiful vintage and looks stunning. She is followed by her bridesmaids who, as my grandad would have said, were “total Bobby Dazzlers” I liked the fact that both parents stood to give her away. I liked the way the groom looked suspiciously at us all when we were supposed to let everyone know if we could think of a reason why they shouldn’t be married and I LOVED how, when they had kissed after the ceremony he grabbed hold of the bride and hugged her in a spontaneous flash of joy that she was actually his. The whole thing thrilled the living daylights out of me. The bride is actually the daughter of some friends of ours who have been very kind to us as we have been our most wobbly as we moved churches. We were so pleased to see them have such a lovely day.
On a slightly different note, I have spent a content hour this afternoon sobbing gently. Our church put together an hour for people to remember those they had lost. Especially as Christmas is approaching like a runaway train and it can be very difficult for those who have lost someone. I sat quietly and thought about my bro and how much I missed him. As we had arrived, we had been given beautiful long stemmed white roses which we were invited to put on the huge cross at the front of the church and then to light a candle. It was lovely. The sermon was a bit deep for me to be honest and I found my thoughts wandering to the story I heard on “Rev” of all places this week about Heaven,
There were some little bugs who lived underwater. One day one of the bugs crawled up a branch and out of the water. There he was surprised to see that he turned into a beautiful dragon-fly who soared into the sky with a freedom he had never known before. He was so happy he wanted to go back and tell his friends how wonderful life was out of the water but when he tried to get to them, he found that he couldn’t reach them and get back under the water. This made him sad, until he realised that one day they too would crawl up the branch and join him and experience heaven with him,
Of course – I can’t give you chapter and verse on that one but it feels right to me. And now having spent that hour with God thinking on these things, I guess I am ready to start Christmas. Tree is being bought tomorrow so all systems go.
Just wanted to leave you with the hymn we sang. For anyone who struggles with Christmas.
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.