This wedding is special to us, not only because of my devotion to British traditions, borne of studying for my English literature degree and fascination with all things English from my childhood. I guess that makes me an Anglophile! The most memorable trips I have taken were the missions to Wales I took part in with Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley in 2004 and 2005. How thrilling it was to visit London for two days at the end of our ministry in Cardiff each time! It was as if all of the novels, essays and histories I'd steeped myself in suddenly came to life. I particularly enjoyed Westminster Abbey, where the kings and queens of England from a thousand years ago are buried. On the second mission trip, my daughter Heidi was able to accompany me as part of the team. She did very well as my my vacation Bible School helper, and just loved our English experience.
Another connection I feel today with William and Kate's wedding is that our Heidi is getting married this year, 30 years after Steve and I wed in 1981, which was 18 days before Prince Charles and the late Diana Spencer's wedding. I got up in the wee hours as a newlywed to view that wedding live as well. Looks like a small tradition for this Kruckenberg!
As the bride is arriving in a glass covered Rolls Royce, just lovely with a tiara, a veil covering her face, in an elegant long-sleeved gown with a massive train, I pray they will have many years of true love as I pray for my own Heidi and Pavel, her husband to be. Wow! is all I can say as Kate steps out of the car and is escorted by her father into the Abbey--and the sun popped out of the clouds that very second!
As is traditional, the groom takes his place to wait for the bride to complete her very long walk. The Abbey has huge live trees on each side of the aisle and is absolutely splendid, as is the choir's singing.I love the spectacular aerial view that FOX News just showed! Now a hymn that features the pipe organ, and the bride and groom are joining in the singing.
The minister has likened marriage to Christ and the Church, the main purpose of which is to bring up children in the fear of the Lord. Amen to that! He now is warning of "the fearful day of judgment" if they marry unlawfully. Now the vows, sigh, so reminiscent of Steve's and my own. I love the traditional vows,til death do us part, given in the Name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."
And they are pronounced man and wife! The closing benediction also evokes the Trinity. And the married couple joins the congregation in a hymn.
Now James Middleton, the bride's brother, reads the"lesson," Romans 12:1-2, 9-18, 21:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God...
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in hope, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men...Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good.
The line from the sermon that I like is that married partners are to creatively transform one another by the power of the Holy Spirit, but never by coercion. The couple had prepared a very beautiful prayer also, that "strengthened by our union, let us comfort others, serving in the spirit of Jesus Christ."
Now as the choir sings, William and Kate are kneeling once again at the altar for the final prayer, the Lord's Prayer.Millions are lining the streets of London now singing "God Save the Queen." The ceremony concludes as the newlyweds, their parents and siblings leave the sanctuary to the most beautiful operatic music imaginable.Now the bride and groom walk down the aisle as man and wife, just a perfect fairytale wedding! As they exit the Abbey, the crowds go wild with adoration.Because the sun is shining, they will be able to ride in an open carriage to the crowd's delight.
God has called His people royalty as well, children of the King of Kings. As the Apostle Peter declares in I Peter 2:9:
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Thank you, Lord Jesus!