weddings, baptism, ministry, people, joy, and “the very best” of everything…

Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us. – 1 John 4:11-12

Rebekah officiating at Westminster
Rebekah officiating at Westminster

As a “preacher’s spouse” – aka clergy-hubby – one of the things I’ve had to get used to over the years is “working the room” at social events.

My normal, more natural, “go-to” response leans toward the shy, the bashful, and the “Let me sip coffee in the corner of the room, by myself, because I don’t know any of these people.”

But that doesn’t really cut it when your wife is Ms. Congeniality Preacher Person; so I have made some progress, over the years; I’m learning, and when I have to I know how to do a pretty fair mingling job.

downtown Raleigh from reception
downtown Raleigh from reception

WEDDING: Case in point Saturday evening’s wedding in Raleigh. The bride has family roots at Wake Forest Presbyterian, which is why Rebekah was asked to officiate, but grandparent mobility issues shifted the venue to Westminster Presbyterian in Raleigh. Additionally, all the guests were from somewhere out of town, so the only people I’d actually met before were the bride and groom (and they were a little busy!).

But, at the reception, there on the 21st Floor of some office tower at the “Capital City Club,” I worked the room like I knew what I was doing; and I had a blast.

The formula was, of course, good people plus the context of celebrating deliberate, life-transforming, committed, “I choose to be with you,” love. Love that puts its stock in commitment, in faithfulness, and in the day-by-day decision to put love into action, the quality of action that is rooted in the intention to serve, and to encourage, and to grow.

my new friends the Corrigan triplets

THE BEST WINE: Rebekah’s message/homily/sermon summed it up well. She talked about the “good wine;” you know, the stuff Jesus served at that wedding he attended at the beginning of his ministry. The point is that whenever, and wherever, Jesus is present, then the result is nothing short of the very best. The involvement of Jesus in the marriage must be more than a sweet memory, it’s an ongoing relationship to be celebrated – and renewed – every single day.

Obviously, weddings showcase the best in people. We dress up, we make nice with everyone we run into, we speak positively, we try to be as encouraging and uplifting as possible.

But with Jesus, with the best wine and the best of everything, our opportunity – our calling – is to be our very best too, our very encouraging, uplifting, positive best, in every circumstance of every day of our lives.

LIFE: I thought about this as Rebekah and I worked our way around the room, smiling and sharing life; I thought about how it doesn’t matter if I’m naturally shy, or if I breeze through public spaces with the aplomb of a Rebekah; what matters is that I take the spirit – the life-giving Spirit – of Jesus with me.

baptism at WFPC July 20
baptism at WFPC July 20

Then, back at WFPC Sunday morning, I thought about how this commitment to be our very best – our very encouraging, uplifting, positive best – in every circumstance, is how we must be as a community of faith; it is most certainly what we are growing into.

Our best for Jesus. Our best because of Jesus.


(Images, below – include photos from the baptism of Abby Boyd, during 11:15 worship at WFPC)


  1. It was a joyful day for Abby’s family! Thanks to Wake Forest Presbyterian for being such a welcoming place.


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