“Grace is the occupying generosity of God that redefines the place.” – W. Brueggeman
I find myself in multiple conversations over this wedding weekend trip. This will be the only wedding of my brother I ever get to be a part of. Our family, those by blood and those by commitment, have gathered together as we are never really able to do in a spectacular city for an important moment.
And as in almost all holy gatherings like these, as all gatherings are likely holy but we only notice some, we find ourselves telling stories together of memories that have scaffolded our shared histories up to these moments. As many perspectives as wedding guests, stories are told over rich food and drink from years upon years of moments, all reminding us of how incredibly fortunate we are.
Children in diapers looking out windows.
Promises made and promises kept.
Phrases learned from repetition that stick years later.
Shared community homes.
Shared inside jokes.
Shared holy lives.
And in moments where we make our promises out loud in fanfare and flower-lined rooms, we are reminded that we have no ability to actually keep them even when we are acting out of our best.
And it’s in these moments, also, that we look back over shared histories from varying perspectives and realize that we have been living in an occupied place, filled with the sometimes subtle and sometimes breathtaking generosity of God. And in those moments, when we have to clench our jaws together to keep from crying out with joy because it will ruin our faces or our makeup, we own up to the holiness of grace filled lives, occupied by the generosity of God.
And we are redefined.
So we celebrate in promise and in party, knowing that a family occupied like ours is a glimpse of the kingdom breaking into earth.
Congratulations, Jamey and Emily. Looking forward to this one.