History shows again and again
How nature points up the folly of men
Yes it is that time of year once again, the weddings kick off pretty soon. I have about 12 of them between April 25th and the end of October! I am not whining… honestly, I have done more in fact I think my record was something like 21 weddings in a single summer… none during the winter mind you!
I don’t really mind weddings that much. Some pastors would rather gnaw their arm off in a rusty trap than do a wedding, but I have generally found them to be wonderful occasions. One of the reasons for this is that I spend a fair amount of time doing pre-marriage counseling which allows me to really get to know the couple as I hopefully help them get their life together as husband and wife off to a good start.
I have competition in this though. There is Evil in the world and it is personified in the Brides Magazine. Now I am sure most if not all of the people who work for this publication are nice enough, and well meaning, but if you want to know where Bride-zilla’s (over the top brides if you don’t get my drift here) come from… they are often spawned by this magazine.
“873 Great reception ideas!” or “666 ways to make your wedding day memorable.” The problem is that one or two of these ideas may not be bad, but well meaning couples try to do too much about their weddings and not enough about their relationships. They often spend; more time, more money and more energy on the wedding day than they ever will on their actual marriage!
Now I say this with the proviso “SOME” not all. Maybe the reason I don’t have too many “bride-zillas” to deal with is because I tell each couple if they are looking for the perfect wedding, a fairy tale wedding… I may not be your guy… I do weddings more like, well… more like the comic strips than fairy tales.
Ok, back to my point!
Finally we broach the petition “Deliver us from evil.” Yes, that was what all the above was leading up to!
Our book of faith Lenten Journey devotions points out that even non-religious types will admit there is evil in the world. I mean look around how could you possibly deny it? We don’t tend to personalize it as I sort of did with my whole “Brides Magazine” rant. Maybe because it would seem silly? I apologize if I have aided and abetted in this with my opening story, but I think it is a perfect example of how evil does work.
Evil comes often in hidden guises. Evil in person is ugly, but evil has a great makeup person, so sometimes we don’t know it when we see it. The best way to identify evil, in the personal or in the “supra – personal” (I had never heard that phrase before today) forces in this world is to ask a question…
Does this separate me from God. Does this seeming innocuous thing build a wall between ourselves and God and ourselves and others? If it does… dollars to doughnut’s it’s evil.
So what are we to do about this. Well in this petition we ask that we not be fooled or overcome by evil and in as Paul writes in Romans 12:21 that we might indeed “overcome evil with good” as we seek to become what we already are in Jesus Christ!
Prayers please… For me and all pastors! Tomorrow is Maundy Thursday… the wonderfully exhausting onslaught of Holy Week is upon us! Blessings.