Thursday, July 19, 2012

Uncomfortably One

Maggie Shipstead on mayhem at the modern American wedding:

I wonder...if the freewheeling merriment isn’t...rooted in a kind of doomsday solidarity. Binding yourself to another person with the intention of fidelity and the hope of lasting happiness is a daredevil leap of faith, and perhaps the momentum of nuptial risk-taking is contagious, inspiring guests to throw caution to the wind at the table or the bar or in bed. My friends’ weddings have been joyful and optimistic, but we’ve heard so many ominous statistics about the divorce rate that these days a distant rumble of anxiety can be heard at even the most determinedly perfect celebrations.

As a pastor, I experience weddings (also funerals, actually) as blessed foreshadowings of the perfect unity with one another and all creation from which and to which God has summoned us. For an hour or two,we may give ourselves permission to ignore the world's alienation and suffering, all the score-keeping and -settling of our lives, and imagine how God wants us to be and live. That's enough to make anyone go nuts.

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