This summer many of you are going to hear wedding bells.
The ringing might be for you as bride and groom, or simply as guest and bestie. Whatever your role on that happy day of hearing marriage vows, your merriment likely will get lifted by meaningful music.
Do you listen to the music? Closely?
As a minister officiating at such festivities, I have noticed that I have a pretty good seat (even though I’m actually standing). I get to see, up close, the giddy smiles of the soon-to-be-weds, along with fidgeting feet and eyes that twinkle with expectation. A happy day is afoot; those four feet are set on going somewhere special. Together.
And mixed into their magical moment, various wedding songs swoosh and surround the ceremony, accenting its solemnity and celebration. A prelude prepares the guests with anticipatory tones; the wedding party makes processional down the aisle, escorted by Canon in D. Then, yes, here comes the bride, silhouetted and serenaded by the song she has selected especially for this march.
Amidst vows and Bible verses, a sweet solo, and a triumphant hymn rise, filling the room with joy. Until, at last, the newlywed-two leave in a recessional that ranges, musically, from something classical, to country, to comic. All compositions combine to lead the gathering of guests into a time of delight that typically bubbles over at a song-filled reception.
Can you hear the music? Personally?
Throughout the story God is telling — from Eden, to Esther, to Ephesians, to eternity — weddings are celebrated and seen as significant.
In the middle of the Bible, weddings are put to music, and to deep musings, as poets pluck chords and point to the joys of a glorious wedding day. The entire self–titled Song of Songs plays this tune. Yet as penned in a single song, Psalm 45 describes a wedding that you will wish to attend for yourself.
There, the splendor of a son of King David is revealed. After proper preparations, this king is seen joining a blessed and beautiful bride in a joyful wedding processional. Accompanied by guests, this royal party makes way to a palace, “led with joy and gladness” (Psalm 45:15). It’s quite a picture, with quite a prospect for all involved and invited.
As the New Testament explains, this Psalm points to Jesus — to his eternal throne, his royal bride, his wedding day (cf. Hebrews 1:8-9). And the good news is that this bridegroom is pledged to be married to the beloved, his church, for whom he died and arose, and now calls to himself, as he makes wedding day preparations before his own great processional (cf. Ephesians 5:25-32; John 14:1-4; Revelation 19:7).
Can you discern the music? Believingly?
As a wedding song scripted and selected by God, may its truth ring as true as the bells you hear this summer. Hear the Bridegroom call to you. Join the processional to his palace. “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9).