I work with a friend as an assistant photographer, so most Saturdays, we are at a different wedding. Weddings are a fantastic combination of some of my favorite interests and hobbies - event planning, creative design, religion and sociology. I get to observe creative centerpieces, beautiful venues, family dramas, emotional brides, religious traditions and of course - toasts.
I've heard enough toasts to consider myself somewhat of an expert. I've heard jokes, long emotional ramblings, silly memories, well-wishes for the future and many congratulations. Last Saturday, we heard from the DJ (the photographers and DJ's have to stick together) that the best man didn't realize he'd be giving a toast and didn't have anything prepared - so I expected the worst! Here's what he said, "My advice to you is to put Jesus first in your lives and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you."
When I heard that and the sincerity with which it was said, I recognized the best man as a brother of mine. It reminded me of time Jesus was talking to the crowd, and his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." He replied to him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."
Obedience to God's will is what makes one Jesus' true brother, sister or mother. When we acknowledge God as our Father, his family becomes our family, and our allegiance to him as Father must come before all earthly allegiances. I love the fact that, although I had never met the best man before, I felt a kinship with him, because we have the same Father.