With all the useless, random bits of celebrity information I’ve got wedged into my brain from the times my fingers have clicked on People for a “brain break,” I’m proud to admit that I know almost nothing about the Kardashian family. Frankly, I still hear the name Kardashian and think of the O.J. Simpson trial, not so much of sex tapes or reality shows or fashion lines or whatever the heck else the Kardashian sisters are known for.
I have rather successfully avoided them - until Kim, one of those sisters, married NBA player Kris Humphries in front of God, witnesses and a television crew from E! on Aug. 20.
Two things about this event grabbed my attention. The first were the sketches of her three custom-designed Vera Wang wedding gowns. (So shoot me: I love wedding dresses.) The second was a Christian Post article titled, “Kim Kardashian’s $17 Million Dollar Wedding ‘Christ-Centered,’ Says Pastor.” I mean, come on! I’ve got to read that, right?
According to the Post article, Pastor Joel Johnson of Westwood Community Church said, “The couple requested a God-honoring, Christ-centered ceremony and gave me the freedom to share a message that upholds God's perspective on love that leads to a great marriage.”
Apparently, Jesus was also represented by the Swarovski crystal cross at the altar.
Naturally, my judgment kicked in right away. I mean, nothing screams “Christ-centered” like three wedding dresses, a Swarovski crystal cross and an E! camera crew, right? Yeah, I thought. I’m sure that wedding was ALL about Jesus.
Then I caught myself and thought back to my own wedding - 15 years ago next month. While I only had one dress, a wooden cross and a random videographer, my wedding wasn’t exactly Christ-centered either. I mean, we were Christian people getting married in a Christian church, a soloist sang “The Lord’s Prayer,” my pastor certainly shared the Gospel in some fashion and we sought God’s blessing and presence. But I wasn’t thinking much about Jesus. And - truth be told - I didn’t care much if any of my guests were thinking about him either. I wanted them thinking about me - and what a great wedding it was.
I know I’m not alone here. Goodness, even at that wedding back in Cana - the one where Jesus really was present - Mary asks Jesus to change the water into wine not so he can be made central, but so the hosts won’t be shamed.
And Jesus obliges. He performs this crazy, over-the-top miracle not to reveal his identity, but to keep the party going. He performs his first miracle not to thrust himself into the spotlight, but to keep the married couple in it.
It’s crazy, really. Even Jesus didn’t seem to want a Christ-centered wedding. At least, not the way I tend to think it’d be.
To me this story of Jesus at the wedding shows something so amazing about weddings. And about God. About the mystery of both.
Weddings are one of those places where God “shows up” in the weirdest ways. Where even as he is specifically invoked, the presence of God is made known in the unexpected - in the simple, in the whispered as well as in the lavish, in the over-the-top. In the turning a bit of water into a whole lot of wine as well as in Swarovski crystal crosses and three dress changes.
I may have scoffed at the notion of Kim Kardashian's wedding being Christ-centered. But I doubt Jesus did. In October, when viewers tune in to E! and see this wedding - curious about the dresses, the bling, the party, the celebrities - perhaps they might also hear and see a bit about Jesus and his great love.
Who can scoff at that?
(Photo courtesy of The Heart Truth/Wikimedia Commons.)