We don’t really host all that many weddings around here. There are lots of reasons for that, but when someone from the church gets married here, it’s a big deal. And this weekend was a big deal. Yesterday (tomorrow as I write) Daniel DeMoss and Olivia Chen tied the knot. And I tied it as tightly as humanly possible. My goal was just to make it through the ceremony without making a fool of myself with an overzealous consumption of Kleenex. We’ll see how that goes, and I can report on things this morning.

I’ve known Daniel for almost 24 years now, since he was 7. His dad, Kurth, chaired the search committee which stuck this church with me all those years ago. It’s been quite the journey. From top secret negotiations to the big reveal of my candidacy to those DeMoss children ransacking (only kidding, Juliet) my house on Saturdays after Chinese school. In those days, there were plenty of water fights on that long driveway on Oak Street. Lucky for us that Chinese school was just around the corner, which brought them to our neighborhood every weekend.

There were those days in Awana which brought some parenting skills to the front (I do believe they got kicked out of their small group one week for not being the model young men they are today). But at least they had the creativity to explore the boundaries, right Lorenzo? Through high school, I watched Daniel explore his faith in Christ to an even greater dimension. This church was a shaping influence in his life.

We moved our sons into the dorm at USC. Together. Oh, Trojan Hall, the smells you had to endure. We shared graduation together. Then, Daniel was off to medical school and Jeremy to work.

What a journey. I wouldn’t have missed a moment or changed a thing.

So, to Daniel and Olivia, my prayer is that all the blessings of God would be yours in fullest measure. As you launch on this adventure of Christian marriage there will be amazing highs and painful lows. But through it all you must keep Christ at the center and always seek first His kingdom and His righteousness. And then the promise of Jesus to supply all your needs will be yours.

This is a bit of a nostalgic weekend for me. The years have been good — and the people sweeter. Weddings are significant milestones in life. They mark a turning point in a journey. Life’s never the same after that white dress is stored away. Never. But that is the plan of God who invented marriage and told us how to make it work to bring Him glory and make us all more like Jesus. It’s a brilliant plan of His, if we don’t muck it up.

This weekend we celebrate a wedding. A milestone. We’ll all be able to do that after I get back from Bombo when we throw open our home to celebrate together the love and wisdom of God in bringing Daniel and Olivia together. Come then and celebrate. Until then, the newest couple in SoCal is Dr. and Mrs. Daniel DeMoss. Sweet.