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  • Jim Etherton

Royal Wedding

This month Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will marry at Windsor Castle. The guest list will include many celebrities as well as members of the royal family. Meanwhile, a thousand members of the public will be able to be part of the occasion within the grounds of the castle and a carriage ride by the newlywed couple through Windsor will help many more feel part of the event. All of us will be able to watch television coverage if we want to.

One of the very few references to a wedding in the Bible is in John’s gospel when Jesus performed his first recorded miracle, turning water into wine when supplies were running out. Jesus and his disciples clearly joined in with wedding celebrations – they knew how to enjoy themselves as well as how to help others. Although the Bible hardly mentions wedding ceremonies, it has more to say about marriage. This reminds us that the ongoing relationship is more important than the one day of celebration.

This is generally true in life. Relationships are more important than objects or events. Our relationships with family, friends, neighbours and others really matter. Strained and broken relationships cause pain while restored and growing relationships bring joy.

The greatest relationship which we can have is with Jesus himself. At Easter we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose from the dead following his execution on the cross. In his death, Jesus bore the punishment for every wrong we have thought, said or done. In rising from death he has shown that his claims to be God in human flesh were true. Jesus’ disciples took some convincing that this was all true. Their ongoing relationship with Jesus – initially face-to-face and then through his Holy Spirit after Jesus ascended to heaven helped convince them. And it is a living relationship with Jesus though his Holy Spirit that keeps Christians going today.

Christians are described in the Bible as the bride of Jesus Christ – and there are references to a great wedding banquet in heaven. At this celebration, we are all invited to be present and involved – but only if we accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour now. Will you accept the invitation?

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