Common Cause

Bible Reading: Philippians 1:19-30

Philippians 1:27, “Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.”

A wedding in a graveyard and how it came to be…

My friends, Mike and Lynda, have been caretakers of Greenwood cemetery in Astoria, Oregon for decades.  Established in 1891, the 30-acre cemetery lies on a knoll overlooking Young’s Bay and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the valley and surrounding hills.  Hundreds of headstones mark the graves of generations of those who have departed this life. 

Mike and Lynda have been our friends for many years, having attended the church where I pastored.  They love Jesus and have faithfully served Him in countless ways, one of which has been the discipling young men and women.  Amongst those has been a young lady by the name of Anna Davis, whose family also attended our church.  Since her young teens, Anna has been serving Jesus through the ministry of Child Evangelism Fellowship.  She’s shared the gospel with hundreds of children, and even on the other side of the world on two trips she made to Uganda with our ministry teams.

When the time came for Anna to head off to college, she attended Frontier School of the Bible in Wyoming.  As sometimes happens in such situations, she met a young man there by the name of Logan.  Both share a love for Jesus and a desire to serve Him in full-time ministry.  One thing led to another—as they say—and they were engaged to be married.  Mike and Lynda did their premarital counseling, so it was altogether fitting for Mike and Lynda to host the ceremony and for Mike to conduct the service.

So, on a late September afternoon, we were all gathered there on that sunny day in that beautiful setting to witness the joyous event.  I was soaking it all in as I was gathered there with the others, many of whom are my friends.  Surveying the beauty of the surroundings, I couldn’t help but think of the glory of the One who created it all.  The blueness of the bay and the greenness of the trees set against the cloudless sky was such a perfect backdrop for the main event.  When the time came, and in keeping with the processional music, Anna made her way across the temporary carpet in her beautiful white wedding gown.  Anna had once said that she intended to never wear a dress, so I commented before my prayer how Logan was able to do a miracle in getting Anna to do that! 

It took a miracle to put the stars in place, and to divide the lands from the sea, and to create all we see.  It took a miracle to bring those two together as He did, both from so far away and from their differing backgrounds.  Indeed, God is the best matchmaker! They both love Jesus.  They both long to serve Him.  The God who created all things made the two into one on that day, and it was a joyous occasion.

As I glanced to the right, I couldn’t help but notice the headstones that were scattered across the green fields.  A wedding in a graveyard.  The celebration of a new life together, in a setting that reminds us all of the brevity of our lives.  To be bound in one spirit and mind, “striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,” is to expend our lives in a noble and worthy cause.  It is as C. T. Studd once wrote:

Only one life, twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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