Saturday, September 12, 2015

Littlest brother's Wedding, Part 1

Marc, my special littlest brother,

Because I am the oldest of the Jackson clan and you are the youngest, I remember when you were a baby. You had dimpled little arms and legs that you wiggled in an erratic dance we affectionately termed "The Wabi Wabi."

Marc on the day he was born, with big brother Aaron

Those Wabi Wabi years didn't last very long. Before I knew it, you were a toddler waddling all over the house, your protruding tummy peeking out from under your cotton striped t-shirt. You had the best belly of any of our siblings, mostly because of your outie belly button. Its plumpness was unparalleled.

We loved pretending your belly was an elevator button panel in an imaginary game in which we pretended we were riding an elevator. I'd press your belly button — "Plooop!" — and it would send us flying up to the 8th floor and then back down to the 3rd floor. 

Marc and I

And then you entered childhood. You spent much of your childhood pushing your favorite fire truck all over the house. You could get that thing up to breakneck speeds. And break our necks we almost did on a number of occasions. You'd come hurtling through the house, sometimes straight at us, and we'd have to fly into the air as you sped beneath our flailing bodies. No doubt those early years prepared me for my college hurdling career.

And then you became a teenager. Your chin sprouted hairs (just a few, at first) and your voice croaked, and we discovered you had an uncanny ability to impersonate people. 

We enjoyed regular family dinners together during those years. Some nights, one thing would lead to another, and you'd end up out of your seat doing your best Nacho Libre impersonation:

"Beneath the clothes we find the man, and beneath the man we find his...nucleus."

And now you are a man, Marc, and as Nacho reminds us, you have a nucleus, a core, an inner part of you from which all of your actions flow. 

And the verdict is in, Marc: your core is trustworthy. You are hard-working, tender, loyal, generous, and full of integrity.

You are a good man. 

Watching you grow into a good man has been a great joy. And yet, you’ve given me greater joy still. 

Because you have discovered that if being a good man is your life's biggest dream, then your life will be very small. 

A good man, if he’s lucky, can leave a legacy. Maybe his grandchildren will remember him for his kindness. Maybe his community will value him for his compassion. But his legacy can only be so long, his life story only so great. Because eventually his great great great great grandchildren and his community will forget his name.

Even the grandest life stories are nothing more than sound bites if they are authored by mere men. 

But you, Marc, have invited Jesus to write your story. And now he has grafted your story into his sweeping, Eternal Story.

It's the Story of the ages — a story that spans the whole of history. It’s a story in which humankind’s selfish rebellion ruptures and mars the good world God has created. It's a story in which all the good men and women try to push back the darkness of humankind’s selfishness and pride, but their efforts are like scooping water out of a sinking canoe with a teaspoon. 

It’s a story in which it looks like all hope is lost. Until God himself enters our story, claims it for his own, redeems all the bad parts, and pens unimaginably glorious new parts yet unread. In this new story we can stop worrying about being good men and women and can instead enter into a marriage relationship with the perfect King of Glory who refashions our inner selves to look like him. 

And you, Marc, are becoming like the King of Glory, Jesus of Nazareth. You are learning to fold your desires, will, and plans up into his desires, will and plans for you.  

You are investing your life's resources in eternal things — in purposes that will last forever and ever. This brings me truest joy.  

And now you have met a woman — a good woman — whose life ambition is to participate in God’s glorious Gospel story. 

 You two are merging lives, resources, and plans, and Jaime, we are delighted. We are delighted to watch your new story together unfold.

There are lots of things I hope for your marriage, Marc and Jaime. 

I hope you laugh till you feel like you've done hundreds of crunches. I hope you adventure to new parts of the world and see things that grow your compassion for others. I hope you enjoy lazy Saturday breakfasts and know the satisfaction of serving your local church as a twosome. I hope you have impromptu dance parties, complete with the Wabi Wabi. 

I hope you grow in your ability to love each other with a sacrificial love that lays aside your own needs for the needs of your partner. I hope you learn to delight in each other's differences. I hope your marriage teaches you to love God more and more for who he is rather than for what he gives you.

And I hope that one day, when you get to heaven, a long, layered line of people is waiting to welcome you to your truest home. In my dream for you, these are people who are in heaven because your married lives made the faithful, gracious, and transformative love of Jesus Christ real to them. These people will be your eternal legacy. 

Marc and Jaime, if your single lives are any indicator of your married future — and I believe they are — then your eternal legacy will ripple across history. It will stretch from earth to heaven. I can't wait to watch it unfold. I'll be cheering for you every step of the way.

 I love you both.

Happy happiest of wedding days.


Big sister Sarah


*The featured wedding photos are not mine, with the exception of the first one. I snagged the rest from Marc and Jaime's Facebook pages since I was too busy to snap photos of my own. When the wedding photographer posts his photos, I'll be sure to link to his website.

© by scj

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