This past Saturday Jan and I traveled across state (Flint, MI) to first be a part of a memorial service and then later on in the day to attend the wedding of a 22 year old niece in East Lansing.
First, the memorial service was for a former Marine who had served in the Vietnam War. He passed away suddenly of a hemorrhagic stroke. The bleeding was the result of a tumor on the left side of the brain.
The service was one of praise and glory to God for this godly husband, father, and grandfather.
To see the power of God moving in and through the family as their testimony of hope and peace was overwhelming because it radiated through their lives.
Secondly, the wedding of my niece (the daughter of my wife’s brother).
The lives of the bride and the groom were marked by godly parenting, mission, and purpose in Jesus’ Name.
The Scripture that was selected showed commitment and conviction as this young couple wanted to make it clear before the Lord, themselves and before a watching world – “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,because we are members of his body.
I couldn’t help think, as I watched the ceremony and fellowshipped with the extended family yesterday, that there is a confidence that this couple will fulfill this glorious picture of Christ and His bride the church – wedded together in harmony.
Without His grace they cannot, but with His grace and mercy they can, and, I believe they will.
The fellowship within the family, too, was marked by love, grace, and tender mercies. Jan and I couldn’t help see the continued flourishing of Christ in brothers, sisters, in-laws – as so many in the family follow the Lord. Not perfectly, as any would say, but striving.
As I watched the families, the wedding, participated in conversations, I came away excited by God and His faithfulness to His people.
I couldn’t help but think of my in-laws (deceased since 2001 and 2003) and recognized that the impact of their humble lives committed to Jesus Christ continues to bear fruit.
A humble dairy farmer and his wife – faithful in prayer, service, tithing, Wednesday night prayer meeting, serving the needy and lonely. Dave and Geneva VanSloten: You would never have guessed that you would be still talked about as godly examples that helped give evidence of how to be a Christian.
It excites my heart and energizes me for my grandchildren and others to continue to walk, talk, love, serve and proclaim God’s amazing account of truth, righteousness, grace, mercy, hope, and love.
To God be the glory not only in the future but now and forever more.
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