Monday, November 13, 2006

God bless you Mr. and Mrs. Cory Hooley!

The quiet on the blog front was not due to an absence of thoughts, news, or opinions. Rather it relates to my whirlwind of activity at the wedding of my older daughter (3 out of 5 kids).

From the glorious wedding service (full of worship, praise songs, hymns, touching sentiment, and even a pony drawn cart transporting my grandsons and the grandchildren of the groom's father and mother down the aisle of the church as flower girl, ring bearer, and pony escorts) to the wondrous reception at the Jacob Henry Mansion Grand Victorian Ballroom, it was a wedding to remember.

My heart nearly broke as my son-in-law said to my daughter in the vows: "You were my first kiss and you will be my last." She responded by saying: "I have protected my purity and saved myself for you as my gift of love to you." My sermon was a full length exposition of Isaiah 43:1-4 (no surprise) with applications to the marriage relationship as a reflection of God's covenant love for us. The parents and mentors of the bride and groom were asked to come forward and pray for the couple during the ceremony. Many tears were shed then too.

The only really original piece in the ceremony (besides the pony during the procession - hey the groom's family are all horse people) happened at the end. After pronouncing them, I took the Bible that I had preached from, and told my daughter something like this . . .

Holding up the Bible in my hand, I reminded my daughter and son-in-law that "this book is a love letter from God to us. It records his love for us and his desire to redeem us for himself, entering into a covenant of relationship with us for eternity. In the Old Testament he calls us by his covenant "married name" Yahweh. In the New Testament he rescues us for himself and gives us a new name. Sarah when you committed your life to the Lord many years ago, he gave you a new name as a mark of your covenant of relationship. One day the book of Revelation tells us God will whisper your new name to you in glory. Now, today, Sarah, you are receiving a new name again because of your covenant with this good and Godly man, Cory. On behalf of your mother and me, I want to present to you this Bible from which I preached your wedding sermon imprinted with your new name, 'Sarah Hooley.'" Both the bride and groom wept. By the way, so did I.

One of the 275 guests was a non-Christian uncle of the groom. He wept throughout the ceremony and told the father of the groom that he had never been to a wedding like this. He said it felt as if God were present.

He was. Soli Deo Gloria! God bless you Mr. and Mrs. Cory Hooley.


beacon churches said...

What a wonderful testimony!

roy said...

Congratulations Dennis! And also to Sarah and Cory

Glenn Layne said...

Congrats, Dennis!