I had a bunch of backlogged thoughts from my whirlwind of events in December. Slowly, ever so slowly, may I get them down in writing; here is one.
Manifestation of God's love.
Over time, likely having to do with a better understanding of myself and hopefully an increasingly sensitive/softer heart, I get touched really, really easily. [Quite annoying, actually :p] Weddings are no exception, and neither was Sarah and George's wedding an exception.
This wedding was a special one for many people. As usual, what usually gets me teary-eyed is the part when the married couple attributes and thanks their/each other's parents for their upbringing. To me, the love between the married couple pales in comparison to the lifelong and unconditional love of parents. The gesture of recognition by the married couple further gets me going perhaps it represents the 'coming of age' that this stage represents in Chinese traditional family values. The love has not gone unnoticed.
But beyond that, in this case, was an extension of Sarah's parents with her father as senior pastor of Kong Fok. I was especially touched when Rev. Ng apologized for the life of travels that his daughters have had to endure since their living location was defined by God's calling for him. As a pastor, his fatherly love was clearly and simply an extension of his own love for God in his vocation.
And even beyond this, with George being the son of another 'auntie' at church, this wedding was not simply the joining together of two families of Christ, but within the entire church congregation. Undoubtedly, this wedding was unique in the amount of 'input' in the process; but this input is simply out of God's love of this community in Christ that is Kong Fok Church. On relative terms, I've only known Sarah and George for only a short time; yet, this band of 'brothers and sisters' was not simply a fun time, but a reflection of a community that runs deeper, spiritually.
But the real conclusion is this: that the many different types of love demonstrated was beautiful *only* because it manifests God's love for each one of us. Yes, the parental love does get me teary-eyed, but the source runs much deeper than that; as beautiful is such parental love, it is only a fraction of the love which God has for us. May we also attribute such love properly -- to God, for He *is* love.
This is not to say that the love between the married couple themselves is nothing, but to me, the wedding is just not the celebration for it. Rather, I look forward to later anniversaries (diamond?) to truly bring honour to that love. ;) I conclude with the processional for their wedding that day; the choice of song was perfect.
FOR THE BEAUTY OF THE EARTH
by John Rutter
For the beauty of the earth; For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth over and around us lies: Lord of all, to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.
For the beauty of each hour of the day and of the night, Hill and vale and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light: Lord of all, to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.
For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, friends of earth, and friends above, For all gentle thoughts and mild: Lord of all to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.
For each perfect gift of thine to our race so freely given, Graces human and divine, Flow'rs of earth and buds of heav'n: Lord of all to thee we raise this our joyful hymn of praise.