Recognizing God when he shows up

"Where have you seen God lately?" That's the question my pastor friend Greg asks his congregation on a regular basis. The idea is that God is likely to show up in your day, often in unexpected ways and at unexpected times.


Last night I saw God show up in a wedding I performed for two non-Christian extended family members. They honored me by asking me to officiate for them, and as we prepared the ceremony, I went over with them the things I normally say in a wedding. I usually talk about how God prepared the day for the couple, how marriage is God making two people one, how marriage isn't just about people but points back to God, how a Christ-centered marriage has all the best qualities, and so on. My relatives aren't overtly religious, and by the time we finished with the ceremony, there was no direct mention of God.

I must admit, I struggled with this for a couple days. I felt like I needed to be able talk overtly about God, especially in a wedding. Yet the more I reflected on the ceremony, God showed me how his fingerprints were on the readings that were chosen and the wording on which we had agreed. Furthermore, the wording isn't as important as being there in that monumental moment with a couple, especially a couple I care about and want to bless.

Say his name or not, I saw God last night. Rarely if ever have I seen two people mean their vows more deeply. I don't know if I've ever seen more passion in a couple's first dance. Part of what I had said during the ceremony is that marriage is a miracle. Two people become one. There is more in a wedding than meets the eye. These are biblical ideas, and for this couple, the miraculous swept them up like a funnel cloud.

God shows up. In fact, God cannot be kept out of our lives. He does his thing in full view of everyone -- and we can see him if we are open to him.

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