A Letter from Pastor Russ Lackey
Summer is here, which means it is wedding season. In truth, weddings occur every month and are always special. I love weddings. I love seeing people gather to support a couple’s nuptials. I love the food. I love the music. Most of all, I love the attire of brides, grooms, and guests.
In the Iberian Peninsula, there is an extra garment used at a wedding. The couple getting married is covered with a tallit (prayer shawl) during the ceremony. The single cloth is placed over both their heads symbolizing the new household they are forming. Even more, the open nature of the covering emphasizes that the canopy is a tent “open to wayfarers,” a representation that the new home will be hospitable to guests and strangers. The couple blessed under this single cloth are reminded that they are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.
In the nineteenth chapter of Revelation, we witness the wedding of the Lamb to the Bride (the Church). The Bride’s attire is clothed with fine linen, bright and pure. This dress is “the righteous deeds” of the saints” (Rev 19:8) that make the bride “ready” for the wedding (19:7). The “righteous deeds” that cover the bride is the work of the Church living out the gospel in word and deed.
As we think about this robe, maybe we should also think about the tallit as a covering. Could it be that the garment placed upon the church is one that not only purifies us but invites us to be a community open to all?
As you attend weddings this summer, look for the spectacular outfits of brides, grooms, and guests. Let those outfits not only wow you, but also remind you that you have been covered with the robe of Christ. And may this covering inspire you to love as you have been loved.