A Message From Pastor Margaret
Weddings, Jesus, and the church, crossing
many different cultures!
Jim and I celebrated our wedding anniversary on
June 25. We once again watched our wedding
ceremony, which was captured on video via
Skype in 2011, between the United States and
South Africa, with my pastor, Rev. Boesak
(I call him Uncle Reggie), officiating from there, as well as my family participating with us. We were joined here at our home in the U.S. by Jim’s family, our friends and a pastor who acted as the Justice of the Peace. The idea was to include my family in our very special day, but for some reason the South African Broadcasting Television got word of it, and the ceremony was screened that next day all over South Africa. I was overwhelmed by that, of course.
Doing a wedding like this requires not just skill and technology, but also the ability to make sure everyone feels part of the ceremony, worshiping and singing together. Our wedding became this inter-national multicultural celebration, “attended” by people from all walks of life, here and in South Africa, other parts of Africa, Indonesia, black, white, Latino, Muslims, Buddhists and more. Uncle Reggie, even though a little technology shy, but with his love for all people, made everyone feel welcome, in the best way we knew he could. We still have wonderful responses from people expressing their appreciation, shedding tears as they see my parents sing their love song for us, and enjoying the music of South African legend, Hugh Masekela and Zimbabwean musician, Oliver Mtukudzi.
As I reflected on our wedding ceremony this week, I couldn’t help but think about Jesus and His disciples, who did not have Skype or television, but crossed borders and cross-cultural lines to include those who were from the other side, who looked different and spoke different languages. There was persecution, but they persevered with their message of inclusion, which became the message of the church of the ages, the church not of sameness, but of cultural diversity. Their message of inclusion became both challenge and blessing for the Greco-Roman world. A challenge, because they felt the intrusion of these Jewish Christian people with their strange Messianic message, but also an opportunity, because they learned and experienced the message of love and acceptance and inclusion.
If our cross-cultural Skype wedding video could be an inspiration for others, then we will show it again and again, and pray God’s continued blessings on those who see it, but also on us as a married couple, who happens to come from different continents, races and upbringings.
May we as a church be that place where everyone continuously feels welcome and experiences the acceptance of those who are different from us. You have done that for me, your South African pastor, and in the process, we are experiencing our common humanity!
Thank you and blessings!