Today was the wedding. Let me set the context. It stormed in the bush since early last night until around 8am this morning. The ceremony was set to be outside in the bush. It is a lovely place … in the heart of nature’s bush. For everyone involved, urgent prayers were offered up to God, thanking Him for the rain but pleading that the rain would cease so that the venue would be dry. Coupled to the answer of the rain ceasing was that God did not only stop the rain around 8am, He sent a rather strong wind to dry off the whole area. The ceremony was lovely … a beautiful bride, a handsome groom, people dressed to the “T’s”.
Not only was the ceremony a Christian and Bible-based wedding service, the gospel could be preached without any restriction. The family of the bride and groom did the most splendid job of setting up the venues for the ceremony and the lunch. Bottles of water with labels for the occasion, specially made coasters made from resin inlaid with lavender leaves, pot plant containers made from newspaper and cement with sand, pebbles and plants, lovely décor around the area of the bush where the ceremony took place, including over the archway. And I cannot neglect to mention the most scrumptious meal that Izapa Bush and Game Lodge’s kitchen provided (soup, main course and delicious round cheese cake with sauce for desert). There were speeches and lots of fellowship. Jenny put it like this: “The people were all very nice.” Perhaps one last thing was the staff’s professional execution of their duties. They were absolute stars. (As an aside, many people don’t go to the bush simply because they have never been there or have never been encouraged to go there. If this is you, try God’s beautiful nature for yourself. There are many ‘bush lodges’, but my choice can be found at www.izapa.co.za). There are a few matters I found particularly noteworthy today.
First, the staff at Izapa were excellent in making everyone feel welcome and at home. Their service was performed with love and appreciation for their guests. Nothing was too much for them … even to their serving the children in a special way at their own table. There are those who have a special spiritual gift called ‘serving’ or ‘service’ as listed in Romans:
Rom 8:7 If it is serving, let him serve
But serving is for all believers. Paul addresses slaves in Ephesians and Colossians. By today’s standards this can be applied to employees and all Christians because service is for all. Look at the way we need to serve:
Eph 6:7 Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men
Col 3:23-24 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
See that? Service is first to God before man! This is the reason service needs to be wholeheartedly and because you are delighted for your salvation (will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward). How are you serving?
Second, we have people utilizing their gifts and abilities. Just two examples of this is the friends who made those coasters made from resin inlayed with lavender leaves. The trick is to use the right amounts of the various elements to achieve the splendid result they did. Then there was the bride using soaked newspaper, mulched in a blade mixer and then saturating it with cement, forced into a mold creating such a lovely pot for a plant. These three people used their gifts and abilities to make memories for a special day. God has gifted each believer with spiritual gifts in specific and everyone in general with varied abilities. Take this passage as an example:
Ex 31:1-6 Then the LORD said to Moses, “See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”
Each one has creative abilities that could enhance the ministry of the Gospel and Church Ministry. Are you making the effort to use your spiritual abilities to glorify God doing your part in making His operation on earth work better?
Third, fellowship amongst the wedding people was delightful as it ought to be amongst God’s people interacting with each other. One of the early Church’s four focuses was fellowship.
Acts 2:42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
Notice that this fellowship is the visible assembly of God’s people in worship that progresses to sharing and caring … because of the eternal family status. Are you engaging is this vital Christian grace?
Fourth, God hears the earnest prayers of His people. As we said before, He might not answer the way we would like, but He does at times answer in the most remarkable way. The weather app said the rain would return just after 12pm … rain started falling at 5.15pm as the last people were leaving. Are you trusting God in prayer daily?
Fifth, truly, the meal was a banquet which reminds me again of that glorious banquet in glory one day … the Wedding Supper of the Lamb. Are you preparing for this?
Glorious Father, how could we not love You more and more as we see You working so wonderfully, answering the prayers of Your people and providing all things necessary to bless Your Church? Help me to be more faithful in service, more eager in prayer, loving in fellowship, quicker to use my abilities and longing for eternity. Amen.