Last Saturday I shared in the wedding of my youngest son Stephen Christopher to Megan Parrot of Columbus IN. (This is Christopher in the tuxedo in the foreground.) As I wrote this post I do not yet have any photos of that event; but trust me, you will see them sooner or later on this blog and on Facebook.
The last wedding we had (June 2005) was for my youngest daughter, Katherine Marie (Katie). She became the wife that day of of Jason Huther of Jasper IN. It’s interesting, my oldest daughter Christi married Tim Kiefer of Vincennes IN and my oldest son Michael married Melonie Wente of Fort Wayne IN. Those Hoosiers of given me some really great sons and daughters-in-law.
Katie was my only child married in a church that I served at the time. There is something special that occurs in the life of a church when a pastor’s daughter is the bride. Your family becomes a whole lot bigger on these unique occasions and although Katie had only been a part of the Landisville Church of God during her breaks from college, my congregation had adopted her like they had raised Katie since her toddler days. We were truly blessed by their love and support. (We also had two receptions – the first being for that church family; and the second the more typical like many of you would have for family and friends.)
I shared the officiating for Katie and Jason’s wedding with my father, also a pastor, Dr. A Gail Dunn. I would have been happy simply being the father of the bride; but Katie insisted that I do the marrying part as well. So after tearfully coming down the aisle with my “baby,” I soon took my place in front of them, hearing their vows and pronouncing Jason and Katie to be husband and wife, “according to the ordinances of God and the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.” I have had the same exact privilege with Christi and with Michael. With Chris, the “pronouncing” will be done by Megan’s priest; but once again I will serve a pastoral role as I share in officiating and present the homily (or as we Protestants tend to call it, The Charge.)
One of my fondest memories of Katie’s wedding is our Father-Daughter Dance at the reception. All the time that we danced in that spotlight, she kept telling me “I love you, Daddy” and even adding why. Finally I said, “Katie, you need to stop; you’re making me cry.” She said with a young woman’s impishness, “I know, Daddy.” We danced, I cried, she beamed, and the whole world watched the performance.
There is something special about a family wedding when the family loves God and the couple know that they have been brought together by the grace and goodness of God. Even though Katie and Jason soon moved to Toledo OH where my son-in-law entered a master’s program in philosophy and I saw them less and less; it is the knowledge that the two of them love Jesus Christ and believe their marriage is God’s will for their lives that has given me assurance and confidence in their relationship. Their life has not been without its challenges and even its tragedies; but I have watched as they pulled together and pulled through still committed to the promises that they made to God that day.
My deepest prayer for Chris and for Megan is that they will keep God the center of their lives and the foundation of their marriage. That they will love each other not out of the affection that sometimes passes for love in our world today; but the agape love that God has intended for all of us since the foundation of the world. I pray that Megan and Chris will grow deeper in that love and more in love each day of their lives til death do them part.