And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” And he added, “These are true words that come from God.” – Revelation 19:9
This weekend Rebekah and I are over in the small North Carolina town of Stokesdale for the wedding of one of our young adults; Friday evening was the rehearsal, followed by dinner. The bride, Kaitlyn, is one of the purest voices in our praise team; her mom – Kim – is WFPC’s music ministries director; and her dad – Eddie – is in my Wednesday evening men’s group.
Both Kaitlyn and her soon-to-be husband, Jacob, have family roots around Stokesdale, so the weekend is like a big southern family homecoming.
The reason this is making it into my blog is twofold. One – it’s what I’m doing for the next two days, and I always write about what I learn (in terms of life and faith) from what’s going on. Two – and more importantly – this is a very happy wedding, and happy weddings turn out to be a great opportunity to tell the good story of God’s extravagant love and grace.
Love this generation!
As you can see from the first photograph, Kaitlyn and Jacob have tons of attendants. You can also see how Rebekah is helping them thoroughly enjoy themselves while going over the details. This is a group of young people who genuinely love one another and who value commitment.
I seriously fail to understand how and why so many people of my generation feel the need to criticize today’s twenty-something to thirty-something crowd. Personally, I see a lot more wisdom, altruism, willingness to serve, and maturity in these young people than I remember when many older Americans were this age. As a group, this crop of young Americans tends to come across as less materialistic and more public spirited; I have a lot of confidence in how they are going to respond to the challenge to lead over the next few decades.
The Kingdom of God:
The marriage feast is a lot like the kingdom of God. There is generosity, lavish celebration, wide open arms, welcome, faithfulness, commitment, renewal of hope, and promise for the future – all brought together in the context of extravagant love.
How much more like church can you get? How much more like God’s kingdom can we imagine?
Every day that I get to live, and love, and shine my light for God is a celebration of this magnitude. Now if only we could do a more consistent job when it comes to communicating this good news to those who need to hear it, with authenticity, and with the right amount of joy and enthusiasm?
Blessed and grateful – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there's always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor's degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men's Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.