Father of the Bride

by Pastor Bob Myers

Last weekend I got to take that most consequential walk. A walk that made my Dad-heart skip some beats. A walk that made my eyes feel like someone threw dust particles in them. A walk with my daughter, Naomi.

I prayed to feel my feelings. I felt God smile. I experienced so many flashbacks.  Remembering my own bride’s walk to me over thirty-one years ago. My heart swells. Gratefulness flows. 

Flashback.  I think of my daughter’s dramatic birth. A kind of obstetrical and medical feat. Accompanied by the applause of young student doctors, her birth foreshadows her calling to occupy a performance platform. Her wedding is a different platform. Different attendants too. 

Her brothers and sisters stand at the altar. Love radiates through wet eyes. The room pulses with joy. A simple room feels royal. The presence of friends warms the atmosphere. Special friends soldered into our hearts with bands of steel.   

My wife joins us to “give her away”.  The groom’s parents “give him away”.  Scripture speaks that the man leaves. Christian services usually just “give” the daughter. All four parents embrace each of them.

Leaving-a kind of death.
Cleaving-a kind of resurrection. 

The world devalues daughters. We raise them to be feminists. We see our new son’s tender respect, his fiercely joyful protection of his bride, and we embrace him gratefully.

I lead them in solemnizing their vows. Surreal to be the father of the bride and the officiating pastor. The Dad-identity dwarfs the pastor role. 

The two become one. A new creation borne by sacred vows. I feel something like fluttering wings of a great Dove descend upon them. I pronounce them husband and wife. A heavenly spell. A bit of Eden restored to earth. Mystical, magical, real.  

From heav’n He came and sought her to be His holy bride
with His own blood He bought her, and for her life He died
”- so goes the hymn, so goes the marriage…

The Romance of the ages, the Divine Love Story, powers all lasting love. He invites all, “Open your heart to My love and truly live.” The best loves on earth are appetizers to the eternal wedding feast.

The Lord loves marriage in ways that transcend understanding.  He attends weddings. He whispers, “invite me to the marriage. Invite me daily.”

He’s the only Essential Wedding Guest. His vintage is superior to all.