(If you only have a black box, and no video, here is a link.)
I’ve never attended a Middle Eastern wedding so I was honored that my friend invited me to celebrate her brother's wedding. We put our heads together to watch postage-stamp videos taken by phone and zipped over thousands of miles in seconds.
In the narrow space between the walled property of their family home and the neighbor’s, a three-piece band of trumpet and two drums blasted a traditional Iraqi wedding tune. She says the instruments are common between Muslim and Christian weddings there, although the tunes vary.
The thoroughly modern bridegroom wore a fashionable business suit with a white shirt and bright red tie and matching pocket-handkerchief. His groomsmen, also in suits, waited to join in the dancing. They took turns dancing, raising their hands overhead and clapping as they swooped and side-stepped toward the waiting car. At one point the groom and his friend clasped hands, arms held out like a T, and danced back and forth.
In the background, women in the family let loose the high, happy wailing sound called ululations. It was a two note-trill like a vocal eruption that added to the celebration.
The groom looked back over his shoulder at them and smiled. His white teeth gleamed between his mustache and the neat small beard.
When the men reached the waiting car, they waved good-bye and drove to the bride’s home. She waited there for him to make good his promise and make his vows.
Congratulations to Diyaa and Fatima. I pray God will bless your marriage and that you’ll have beautiful children.
The scene lingered in my memory like a delicious flavor lingers on the tongue. A couple of days later I connected the contemporary example with what I’d read of marriage customs in the Bible.
Isaiah the prophet foretold that the anointed one would clothe his followers with garments of his righteousness, as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. Jesus told parables about weddings. Like Fatima, the bride waits for the bridegroom to come for her. Jesus referred to his bride, the church.
I can imagine Jesus in the heavenly wings. He's as eager as I am, passionate, and joyous because He cherishes me as a groom does his bride. (Isaiah 62:5)
Does Jesus dance while He waits for the hour to come for me? Oh, what a wonderful picture. I look forward to that not-soon-enough day.
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,