I would read few Christian romance or romantic suspense novels if some of my best friends didn't write them. As a single woman who appreciates marriage, reading fairy tale romances can grate like fingernails across blackboards. But a divine appointment March 30th in Indonesia changed my outlook as 6,000 formal guests and I attended the most amazing wedding ever.
Reaching the civic auditorium on one of many chartered buses, we met easily 100 trucks delivering large floral billboards celebrating the couple. Inside the building, every lavish detail contributed to a perfect day. Magazine-worthy flower arrangements towered over our heads. A full backdrop of a church with stained glass windows transformed the auditorium stage. Fragrant ceiling to floor banks of white flowers flanked both sides with orchids, lilies, tulips, roses, baby’s breath, gladiolas, and more for this fabulous wedding joining the son and daughter of two wealthy fourth-generation committed Christian families prominent from Indonesia and Singapore.
The couple could have chosen any wedding venue. Instead, they made their service a God-honoring portrayal of Christ loving and coming for His bride, the church, before multi-faith guests including three former Indonesian presidents, one vice-president, and endless other dignitaries. Most honored the prayers and tried to sing the printed Christian hymns presented by a talented live orchestra and chorale. I’d only seen such splendor at William and Kate’s televised wedding. I was privileged to attend this in person.
The handsome groom stood in front awaiting his bride, his rapturous expression showing anticipation. Impeccably dressed with every detail perfect, his bride walked confidently forward escorted by her beaming father. Her large genuine diamonds and lustrous pearls were tasteful, not overdone, and enhanced her beauty. Her 12-15 foot lace train was deftly managed by an attendant. I was impressed that every lavish touch to make her the loveliest of brides had been provided with no expense spared. And I suddenly realized that our heavenly Father has also provided everything we need, no expense spared, for our divine marriage.
This ceremony did not lack heart-grabbing romance. The groom declared his vows to love, honor, and cherish following his, “I do,” by adding, “with all my heart. His beautiful bride echoed his words, also answering, “I do, with all my heart” Their palpable love made both bride and groom shed tears, as did most present.
The groom lifted the bride’s veil to reveal her beauty and they kissed. Instead of "Here comes the bride," for the recessional we sang all four printed verses of In Christ alone my hope is found, He is my light, my strength, my song by Stuart Townsend & Keith Getty Copyright 2001. For copyright reasons I'm told I can't share more, but it's worth tracking down the full song.
We imagined the bride and groom whisking away for a luxurious honeymoon. That may eventually have happened, but the next morning I sat in a campus church of 500 with my niece and family as children waved palm fronds for a Palm Sunday service. We filled the 2nd row, not noticing that the row behind us was empty and reserved. At 8:45 a.m. we heard a slight stir as the bride, groom, their families, attendants, and honored guests, arrived and filled that row. When church ended, I stood to shake hands and thank them for making their wedding so impacting and God-honoring.
People describe both families as billionaire philanthropists. When wealth serves outstanding purposes, I wish them continued success. I will never read another romance or attend any wedding without remembering the true Divine Marriage they represent.