Renewing Your Vows
Originally scheduled for March 31
We recently attended the celebration of the 50th
wedding anniversary. The couple doing the celebrating did not
actually give the celebration; their kids got together and invited
everyone they knew to a party to celebrate the occasion. As a part
of this celebration, the happy couple took the time to renew their
wedding vows in front of all of us. It’s an interesting comparison;
the wedding and the renewal.
We had lots of pictures of the original
wedding. Like many such things, it was an elaborate affair. It was
full of the usual bridesmaids in symmetrical dresses, the bride in a
flowing white creation and of course the gentleman in tuxedos. The
pictures give you a sense of how elaborate the wedding is. If you
look at the faces in the pictures you will see something else:
anticipation. You could see this young couple eager to be married,
looking forward with great hopes and desires — and just a touch of
that at a worry that says, “you know, I’ve never done this before.”
It’s a feeling most brides and grooms experience. And like all
weddings, there were witnesses — in this case, a church full of
them. We invite all these friends because we want to share our
happiness and joy; but we also invite them to be our witnesses,
testifying to the seriousness with which we took our vows.
The renewal of those rows was quite a contrast.
Where the original wedding was elaborate, the renewal was simple.
Nobody wore tuxedo; the bride wore comfortable shoes. It was just
two people who were so obviously happy with each other standing up
and saying, “yes, I would do it again.” The anticipation of the
wedding day has been replaced by the calm assurance that comes with
But like the original wedding day, this day was
packed with witnesses — witnesses who were there to share the joy,
but also to celebrate the fact that 50 years later their commitment
to each other is even more unshakable.
We sometimes forget that one of the most common
metaphors for the church is that she is the bride of Christ. If I
might make a parallel, baptism is the closest thing we have too
wedding ceremony. We do it only once. If your mind can go back so
far, do you not recall the anticipation that came with it? You could
know what being a Christian was really like unto you, yourself,
experienced it. But you look forward to it with anticipation. If you
had the chance, you probably someone family and friends to be the
witnesses of this happy occasion. Baptism is like a wedding.
Communion is like the renewal of your wedding
vows. Where baptism involves a fair amount of ceremony, communion is
taken in a simple and low-key manner. You do it with the calm
assurance of someone who had is an experienced Christian, confident
in the Lord’s care and blessing. Baptism looks forward to the
future; communion looks back. Communion looks back to the sacrifice
on the cross which made your relationship with God possible. But
like the wedding vow renewal, we still have witnesses. Communion is
a public ceremony so that all might see that you are still committed
So as we take communion together, let us look back to that
sacrifice. Let us see Christ on the cross, giving body and blood for
our sake. But let us also remember our relationship with him and in
taking communion proclaim that we are still committed to the cause
of Christ. Yes, we would do it again.