I recently had the pleasure of conducting the wedding for two lovely gentlemen, one of who has been a friend throughout my ministry at St. James. As is the norm, the wedding ceremony was followed by a fun reception for all the guests. My wife, Lois, and I were included amongst the invitees and enjoyed the fine hospitality of the two grooms immensely. It was a great party!
Following the reception for the wedding guests, there was to be a brief pause, and then a big family dinner hosted by the newlyweds. Not being family members, Lois and I weren’t invited, which was to be expected. Nevertheless, the grooms wanted to make sure we fully understood that it wasn’t meant as a slight; they were simply taking advantage of having so many family members together in one place. Naturally, no offence was taken. I always encourage people to get together for happy occasions, and was thrilled that the groom’s families would be able to have yet another great party.
This timely response to a rare confluence of events is an example worth following. All too often I hear people lament that they didn’t spend enough time with the ones they loved. Funerals seem to be the most frequent times that some families get together, and of course, while there is joy in seeing the people you care for, it’s difficult to celebrate the reunion when mourning the loss of a loved one.
God created us to be with other people. None of us can survive without family members, friends, co-workers, fellow hobbyists, store clerks or friendly strangers sitting next to us on the train. When it comes to families it’s important that we take the time to celebrate when we can, to be together to share our stories and build on the relationships that have shaped us. It’s not always easy; families aren’t perfect and not all relationships are ideal. Sometimes families spread out to places far and wide, making it hard to be in the same place at once. Still, it’s worth the effort to get together without waiting for a special occasion or a tragedy to make it happen. When there are no timely opportunities, for a party or gathering, then they need to be created. After all, the time is always right to have some fun with the people you love.