Top Table

August 29, 2009
by John Stuart

Luke 14:8 – When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honour, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. (NIV)

In Scotland, at wedding feasts, there is always what is called the "top table". Seated at it are the prominent members of the wedding party: the bride and groom, the best man and chief bridesmaid, the bride's parents, the groom's parents, and the minister.

The minister acts as the emcee for the evening. During desserts and coffee, he stands up, tells a few corny jokes, and then introduces the speakers — the bride's father and the best man, and then, it's the groom's turn. It's a great way of doing a wedding, and when my daughters get married, the speeches will be made in the Scottish style. Usually, everyone has a great time, except for the groom, because he tends to get "roasted" by the bride's father and the best man.

I think I must have officiated at over two hundred weddings in Scotland. I enjoyed every one of them, especially when it came to the after-dinner speeches. Mostly, everyone had a great time, and there was always lots of laughter. A wedding, after all, is a celebration. Believe me, Scots know how to celebrate!

Sometimes, I wondered if all that joviality met with God's approval, and then, I would remember that Christ Himself went to a wedding once, where He turned the water into wine. If He didn't like people celebrating, dancing, and being merry, He would have just walked away when the wine ran out. Instead, Jesus performed a miracle which ensured that the party lasted longer.

Life can be very serious at times, which is why Jesus showed us that a bit of levity, laughter, and love is good for all of us. If we forget how to laugh, then we've forgotten how to live.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for the celebrations in our lives which lighten the loads we are carrying. Thank You for creating us with the ability to enjoy comedy and recreation. Wherever we go this week and whoever we encounter, may our laughter and smiles, good humour and corny jokes bring joy to weeping hearts and light to darkened souls. In Your holy name, we laugh and pray. Amen.

About the author:

John Stuart <traqair@aol.com>
Knoxville, Tennessee, USA

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