On Monday evening, I did something a little out of the ordinary. A young couple who have been coming to church, and with whom I’ve done a few pre-marital counseling sessions, asked me to marry them late last week. They had originally planned a much larger wedding, but circumstances called for a change of plans.
They had always intended for a beach wedding, so a beach wedding I it was. On the South end of Coquina Beach, out of the way of the powerful and frigid northerly wind, I married this couple. It was a fairly short ceremony, without singing and a long homily (I was actually as short as I intended: 5-7 minutes). And this was the intent, for we were trying to complete the ceremony by sunset, not to mention it was quite cold. My decision to wear sandals exacerbated that feeling.
Regardless, the ceremony was meaningful and lovely (if a dude can say that word). I opened up the service with the reminder that they were still making vows before God and a few witnesses (5 others besides the three of us), and that there was nothing less sacred with a beach than a church building.
The call to worship was from Psalm 19. This Psalm declares that all of creation shouts to us of the glory of God and His character: the skies, the earth, the setting sun (which was apropos). Also declaring the glory that evening were flipping dolphins, baitfish jumping, and even a shark cruising ‘fins-up’ the pass.
Unfortunately with the latter, I stopped in the middle of my homily to say, “Cool, look at that shark!” Of course it quickly went under, and I apologized. Then it was game on as usual.
This was my first beach wedding, but I’m a big fan of the beach wedding now. So many things to remind us of the glory of God. And there were no bikini’s in the winter in the winter to ‘steal the thunder.’ However, if I do one again, I will NOT be facing the water. Because if a shark cruises, a snook crashes bait, or a school of mackerel start jumping, I can’t help but pause in amazement over God’s amazing creations, and interrupt the ceremony.
The picture is of Greg, Sam, me, and Sam’s Dad. I’m also now a fan of the sweater and blazer look. You’ll probably be seeing more of that from me if it stays cold.