Kim Kardashian and Christ-centered weddings

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.)

Comments (9)

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Love this Caryn.

Yeah, struggling with this as well. Wonder if Kim goes to church

Thanks for this thoughtful post. It made me think of a post by Alise Wright from earlier this year:…

When I really think about what it means to have a Christ-centered wedding or marriage, the term means less and less. Maybe better to say we want a Christ-honoring one.

Jesus made sure the wedding at Cana was bride and groom centered. It must have rivaled the Kardashians at least in size and scale. The guests had been served wine but the steward ran short. A lot of thirsty itinerant fishermen tend to do that. So 6 stone water jars, each holding 20 to 30 gallons (we’ll split the difference and say 25) were filled to the tip top with the finest wine the steward had tasted. That is conservatively 750 bottles of expensive wine on top of the wine that had already been served. Judging from the amount of wine, that is a huge wedding party. Or even much larger if there were Southern Baptists present.

Thanks for this. 

It’s easy to choke at the extravagance but it’s hard not to sound like Judas kvetching about it. We have many stories of Jesus participating at banquets, and at one he did admonish the host to go counter-cultural on the benefaction tradition (invite those who can’t return the favor) but we never hear him complain that the banquet was too extravagant and that the money should be given to the poor, that was Judas’ idea. The sin of the rich man wasn’t his partying, it was leaving Lazarus at the gate. 

There is something proleptic about weddings and parties. They point to something important Jesus doesn’t want us to miss.

Beautiful comment. Love the idea of living life looking at those things Jesus doesn’t want us to miss. That’s great.

Not sure if this will help or further your choking: but the $17M was the amount they EARNED from the wedding. Not spent. : )

Thanks for the thoughtful article, Caryn.  As former missionaries that had to raise support, Hubby and I are certainly—gasp!—judgmental of how other people spend their money.  All while secretly coveting the lavish and beautiful things these people are able to do.

I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around spending that much for one event, when there are so very many poverty stricken people.  But this post reminded me of something I vaguely remember Paul saying, about how Christ doesn’t care about the motives of Paul’s opposing preachers.  He cares about the gospel and glory of God.

By the way, Kim Kardashian’s wedding didn’t cost s cent. The figure reported spent on the wedding was 10 million, but the wedding was a for-profit venture, and selling the right to broadcast and made 17 million, netting a tidy profit. Now If only I could have been smart enough to figure that out at ours in 1975…

I don’t know about this line, Paul:

The sin of the rich man wasn’t his partying, it was leaving Lazarus at the gate.

In an era that celebrates the consumption by the few, and the overall honoring of the celebrity, I would think a more modest approach could be taken. Think again: a $17 M profit for the wedding of a celebrity.

This so smells like the Spirit of the Age, the thing to be resisted.

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