Road To Somewhere
May 30, 2002
"I'm nervous." Elise said quietly to her father. They were waiting at the doors of the sanctuary for the music to cue them.
"You and Chris will be just fine." He smiled reassuringly and squeezed her hand. The music started and she took her first step towards her soon-to-be husband. Chris looked up and smiled at the sight of Elise.
At the end of the isle Elise and her father stopped just short of where Chris was standing. They waited for the priest to begin the service.
"We are gathered here today in the sight of God and angels, and the presence of friends and loved ones, to celebrate one of life's greatest moments, to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love, and to add our best wishes and blessings to the words which shall unite Chris and Elise in holy matrimony.
"Marriage is a most honorable estate, created and instituted by God, signifying unto us the mystical union, which also exists between Christ and the Church so too may this marriage be adorned by true and abiding love."
"Who brings this woman to this man?"
"Her mother and I," Elise's father said. Chris held out his hand for Elise's Dad to put her hand in his. Elise's hand was placed in his and she took a step closer to him. Her Dad sat down.
"Chris and Elise life is given to each of us as individuals, and yet we must learn to live together. Love is give to us by our family and friends. We learn to love by being loved. Learning to love and living together is one of life's greatest challenges and is the shared goal of a married life.
"But a husband and wife should not confuse love of worldly measures for even if worldly success is found; only love will maintain a marriage. Mankind did not create love; love is created by God. The measure of true love is a love freely given and freely accepted, just as God's love of us is unconditional and free.
"Today truly is a glorious day the Lord hath made - as today both of you are blessed with God's greatest of all gifts - the gift of abiding love and devotion between a man and a woman. All present here today - and those here in heart - wish both of you all the joy, happiness and success and the world has to offer.
"As you travel through life together, I caution you to remember that the true measure of success, the true avenue to joy and peace, is to be found within the love you hold in your hearts. I would ask that you hold the key to your heart very tightly.
"Within the Bible, nothing is of more importance then that of love. We are told the crystalline and beautiful truth: "God is Love". We are assured that "Love conquers all". It is love, which brings you here today, the union of two hearts and two spirits. As your lives continue to interweave as one pattern, remember that it was love that brought you here today, it is love that will make this a glorious union, and it is love, which will cause this union to endure.
"Would you please face each other?" Chris squeezed Elise's hand and smiled. Elise smiled back as tears came to her eyes.
"Chris, will you have this woman to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?
"Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto her, so long as you both shall live?"
"Elise, will you have this man to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony?
"Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, keep you only unto him, so long as you both shall live?"
"I will." She said quietly.
"A marriage ceremony represents one of life's greatest commitments, but also is a declaration of love. I wish to read to you what Paul wrote of in a letter to the Corinthians a long time ago. I believe this is a true model of love, and it is a model of love I would you both would pursue in your marriage:
"Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels - but do not have love, I am only sounding brass or tinkling cymbals. Though I have the gift of prophecy and understandings all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains - but do not love, I am nothing. Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
"Love endures and is kind. Love is not envious or jealous. Love wants not itself, is not puffed up, does not behave itself unseemly, seeks not its own, it is not easily provoked, and thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in unrighteousness - but in the truth.
"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never fails.
"Where there are prophecies, they shall fail, where there be tongues, they shall cease, where there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, that which is part shall be done away with.
"When I was a child I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child. When I became an adult, I put aside childish things. At present we see indistinctly - as in a mirror - but then we shall see face to face. At present I know partially, and then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. So faith, hope, love remain- these three- but the greatest of these is love.
"Wedding rings are an outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace and the unbroken circle of love, signifying to all the union of this man and this woman in marriage."
Chris turned and was handed the ring for Elise.
"With this ring I thee wed, and pledge thee my troth," He said slipping the ring onto her left ring finger. "Lis you are an amazing women inside and outside. Thanks for loving me with all of your heart, through everything." Elise wiped her eyes.
Kacie handed Elise Chris' ring.
"With this ring I thee wed, and pledge thee my troth," Elise started as she placed the ring on his finger. "You have been the persistent, strong one in this relationship. Thank you for that and for never giving up on me. I love everything about you and it won't change through everything we go through together." Chris squeezed her hand again.
"In Ephesians, the relationship between husband and wife is compared to between Christ and the church:
"Submit yourselves one to another as the fear of God. Wives, show reverence for your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church, and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own Husbands in everything.
"Husbands, love you wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word; that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkles or any such thing; but that it should be holy without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own body; He that loves his wife loves himself.
"For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and the two shall be one flesh. This mystery is a profound one and I am saying this as it refers to Christ and the Church; however, let husband love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respect her husband.
"Chris and Elise as the two of you come into this marriage uniting you as husband and wife, and as you this day affirm your faith and love for one another, I would ask that you always remember to cherish each other as special and unique individuals, that you respect the thoughts, ideas and suggestions of one another. Be able to forgive, do not hold grudges, and live each day that you may share it together - as from this day forward you shall be each other's home, comfort and refuge, your marriage strengthened by your love and respect.
"Heavenly Father, we give thanks for the moment that brings Chris and Elise together in marriage. We recognize with thanksgiving the journeys that have brought them to this time, and we celebrate with them the hopes they hold for their life together. We ask your blessings upon them, to sustain them through the difficult and uncertain times that come to every relationship. We pray that they may continue to find in each other resources, which will nurture their marriage. May they continue to grow together and may their love for one another deepen with the passing years.
"Bless this union we pray, and walk beside Chris and Elise throughout all their lives together. All this we ask in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
"May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up his countenance unto you, and give you peace.
"Go into the world and fulfill your lives. Hold fast your ideals. Give to one another new experiences of joy. Challenge one another that you may grow. May the love you hold for each other continue to mature. May your life together be a source of strength and inspiration to your family, your friends, and the world around you.
"In consideration of the vows you have exchanged and your expression of love for each other, I now declare you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Chris pulled Elise close and kissed her. Elise smiled against his lips when he pulled away from her.
"Beautiful." Chris smiled. He wrapped his arm around her waist. The two walked down the isle and out to the car that was waiting for them.
"Ready?" Chris asked as his hand slid over Elise's, which held the end of the knife. They were about to cut the cake. Elise nodded with a smile. The knife slide effortlessly through the chocolate cake as the two pressed down on it.
"It looks good." Elise stated as Chris pulled the piece out that they had cut. He set it on the china that was sitting on the table. Elise smiled seeing the look on his face. "You're going to be messy aren't you?"
Chris grinned as he broke off a piece of it with his fingers. He raised his hand to her mouth, and made sure that frosting got on her nose.
"Thanks Chris." Elise smiled as he placed the cake in her mouth. While she chewed, Elise picked up the fork that was by the knife. She forked a piece off of the cake and held it up to Chris' mouth. He rolled his eyes and accepted the bite. Elise laughed.
She reached for a napkin, to get the frosting off of her nose. However, Chris' finger reached her nose before it.
"Yummy." He smiled. His arm reached around her waist and pulled her close. Elise smiled up at him and waited for his lips to meet hers. It was a short kiss, that Elise was sure had been caught on film. "Even better," Chris mumbled against her lips before pulling away.