This edition of TIA requires a little back story....if you see me wearing a suit I'm either marryin or buryin as the saying goes. This past Sunday the former. Everyone has firsts, as the years go by more check marks accumulate in my "firsts" column. Last Sunday included.
I had the privilege of officiating at the wedding of a nice couple from our church-a great story of faithful patience for the bride, and God's healing and redemption for the groom. They are a neat couple, the wedding had a unique movie theme, a fun location in downtown Dallas with standing room only. Cutting it close on time, I arrived just before the processional and made my way to the back where the guys were in the holding tank. There I found the best man and groom. Delightful fellows. The best man said to me while grasping a flask; "Would you like a drink?" After the services as we were taking pictures at another location the offer came again, I politely declined once more.
I had several thoughts....First, did I appear stressed and in need of something to take the edge off? Second, this was an invitation to community. I believe the latter and for that I'm thankful. Here's why...
In my former denomination lines of acceptance and fellowship have been drawn over the issue of Alcohol. The debate has died down some but it flares up occasionally here and there. Claiming biblical fidelity, many well intentioned believers have exalted (in my opinion) their interpretation and subsequent application over and above the clear commands of Scripture. This is unfortunate.
Jesus attending weddings, he even provided alcohol on one occasion...not watered down weak stuff but really good stuff. The wine specialist confirmed it.
I don't drink....I may someday...I have enough problem with Dr Pepper addiction...but I abstain not because I believe it's required biblically but out of personal choice. I don't look down on those who drink or up at those who don't.
The offer of alcohol wasn't offensive to me....in fact just the opposite....it demonstrated a level of acceptance that I'm glad to have experienced. Sure, I'm a guy with a goofy job-I'm a Pastor. I was in the company of Christians and non-Christians at a wedding where alcohol was being served-a place I'm convinced Jesus wanted me on a Sunday afternoon.