Weddings and filthy lucre

I went to the wedding of one of my first cousin’s daughters this past weekend. A lovely event, held on the Savannah River. My cousin, who is married to a prominent doctor in Savannah, Georgia, now lives rather well. The wedding, along with ancillary events, had to cost in the tens of thousands. It struck me as the modern equivalent of brides in ancient times literally wearing her dowry in the form of gold chains and coins — demonstrating to all with eyes to see that this is the daughter of a wealthy man.

It is not that I wish to be harsh, it’s just that when, during the wedding ceremony, the rabbi urged the about-to-be-married couple to go forth and do good in the world, I thought, “wouldn’t it have done some good to have a very small, private ceremony, and donated to charity the money that otherwise would have been spent?”

Please mark this well: my comments have nothing to do with the fact that this is a Jewish couple, or that it was a rabbi officiating. The same words may be heard at many a Christian ceremony, with exactly the same sense of “hey, look at us, we can afford to throw money around.” In fact, except for the explicity Jewish aspects of the wedding (which, to my cousin’s credit, were in abundance), it could have been the wedding bash for any two wealthy wasps.

May God bless the young couple and may they quickly realize what Jesus tells us in Matthew 6:

19″Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

If memory serves, Jesus attended some Jewish weddings Himself…

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