One of the ministries I currently offer is Christian wedding ceremonies to displaced Christians, Christians who have no pastor (for whatever reason), and other folks who somehow identify with the church. In this day and age of people who have been displaced from the church for various reasons, there are more of them out there than one might think.
One of those reasons is commonly what we now call “destination weddings.” I end up celebrating a few of these each year. I officiated one of those this past weekend.
Not an Obvious Find
It was somewhat unique in that it was tucked away in a cabin back in the woods. I had the address loaded into my GPS, but I was still a little nervous about locating the place. I could tell by the map it wasn’t going to be an obvious find.
To add to my tension, it poured buckets all day. Flash flood warnings were everywhere. I left early and drove through the downpour with much trepidation. Floods, accidents, and low visibility were fears I was experiencing. I didn’t want to be late, and despite my travails, I was right on time.
I found the road rather easily (kudos to Waze) and discovered that the cabin was back in the woods up a rather steep, winding hill. Since I have a Jeep Wrangler, I wasn’t too worried about heading in. However, I had visions of shuttling people out if the road washed away. It never did stop raining.
The road didn’t wash out, but the hosts had a difficult time getting the crowd up that one-lane, steep, dirt lane. Consequently, the ceremony was delayed for over an hour. As I stood on the deck of the cabin (which, by the way, turned out to be a fabulous place for a wedding ceremony) I marveled at the logistics involved in moving the masses upward. It occurred to me that a wedding crasher was the last of their worries.
As I waited, I went over the service in my mind a few times. Over-preparation can be a killer (check out my first book—The Last Wedding). But in this case, it gave me time to stumble across an idea that I had never used in a wedding ceremony prior to this one. With all the precipitation and the water gushing in rivulets down below, my thoughts wandered to Noah.
It suddenly occurred to me that Noah’s Ark was the perfect metaphor for a marriage. I don’t know why I had never thought of that before, but I’m sure others have used it.
When it came time for the wedding homily, I briefly alluded to Noah building the boat to keep his family safe. I likened it to marriage where we build our home and relationships to be an ark of safety from the storms of life—two by two, no less. I hope the couple liked it. I know I enjoyed the moment (although I did keep one eye on the rising water).
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]