Yesterday, I performed a marriage vows renewal ceremony for a couple of folks who had contacted me via our church website. It was a really nice experience which called for some creativity on my part, as I had never done such a thing before and had never witnessed such a ceremony either. My colleagues on the ministers' chat were helpful but it was up to me to put together the ceremony for a couple I had met only 24 hours before the ceremony. Afterwards, we sat and enjoyed a bit of wedding cake, a glass of wine, and some more getting-acquainted time. They were a delightful pair, clearly still in love after 25 years, and optimistic, even though their trip to Whidbey had been a little challenging!
This morning I'm getting ready to perform a marriage ceremony for a young couple, at his parents' home north of here, and when I got up, I realized it was going to be a rainy day, at least for part of the day. I thought about the so-called wisdom of the ministers' adage repertoire, "rain on your wedding day means good luck", because that's what I was going to tell them if it was still rainy when I got there this afternoon.
Thinking more about it later, it occurred to me that unexpected setbacks on one's wedding day are a test of one's maturity and ability to handle challenge. If nothing else, those setbacks underscore the impossibility of controlling details, or the weather, or others' behavior, and how one rises to that occasion can indicate how well s/he will rise to the occasions of "sickness and health", "rich or poor".
So in an important way, it is a lucky thing to have rain on a wedding day. I wouldn't want to carry the idea too far, as there are tons of things that can affect one's falling apart on one's wedding day and the weather can be the final straw, but the sun is out now and I probably won't have to say a thing!
Tomorrow I go over to America to preach at a neighboring church. I'm looking forward to seeing many friends in this particular congregation. I'm going to recycle my Holy Fool sermon; it's a good one for August.