Yesterday was the wedding of my good friends Tom and Michelle. I was lucky enough to be chosen as best man. As promised to those who didn't attend the reception here is my speech:
''Good evening, Ladies and Gentlemen- I’d like to thank you all for coming today and helping to make Tom and Michelle’s wedding such a special and memorable occasion. In case you don’t know me I’m Simon one of the honoured best men. Being chosen for this duty seems to suggest that I have been far too friendly towards Tom. Anyway I’m glad to have the privilege of speaking to you.
I’ve known Tom since the first year of University. Sussex Uni is a place full of people who are unsure… unsure about life, the future, themselves and what to drink that night. Tom was no different. I was drawn to him by a tee shirt he was wearing featuring a picture of Thomas the Tank Engine. I wasn’t entirely certain about the mental condition of Tom as I personally stopped wearing those tee shirts a good fifteen years previous. I then read the Caption: Doubting Thomas. As I peered at the shirt and came to the conclusion that I didn’t actually want to initiate any conversation with him due to his choice of clothing for a Monday Morning seminar, it all became clear. Tom was a church-goer. This made perfect sense to me. I’m a Christian and therefore am allowed to wear socks with sandals, continually eat quiche and sing kum-buy-ah out of pitch with raised hands. I’d like to point out that Tom and myself have never ever met up to participate in any of those three activities.
So we got chatting and became friends thanks to that faithful tee shirt. Since the three years of knowing Tom I’ve found him to be of a good moral conduct. Take for example his eating habits. Slow, carefully and skilfully he’ll enjoy a meal while making pleasant conversation…No…If you’ve ever eaten with Tom you’ll know that’s actually not true whatsoever. Tom has the skill of opening his gullet to food and shovelling it down as if the UK were about to enter a millennium of rationing.
Other things about Tom: Is he an intellectual? I can honestly say that in all the years I've known him, no one has ever questioned Tom's intelligence. In fact, I've never heard anyone even mention it. Well he did achieve a 2,1 in music from Sussex due to his powerful voice. He is a talented singer and as a result many of his friends and family have been forced to (against their own wills) become doubly talented listeners. Obviously it has been a great joy to go to concerts time and time again and listen to Tom sing in a language that I can’t understand. And the songs that he sings in English tend to involve maids and effeminate body movements….
After listing a few things Tom can do, for balance here are a few things he can’t:
He can’t get excited without flapping his arms and talking in a high voice.
He can’t not organise everything. Tom seems to be a professional in planning and ordering.
He finds it very hard not to be blunt. Tom has a tendency to get straight to the point in every circumstance.
He is unable to whip people with tee towels-He’s actually pathetic at this. He tends to try and get to you….he hasn’t got the right technique. I tried to teach him but my efforts were wasted.
On more of a serious note I want to make sure that Tom and Michelle are well suited for life-long marriage. So I decided to do a bit of research to examine their similarities and differences.
Meanings of names: Michelle your name comes from the Hebrew and means ‘to be like God’. Quite a good name to have as the Bible describes God as: loving, happy, perfect, creative, fair, kind, generous, gracious and patient.
Tom your name comes from the Aramaic and means twin (long pause). That’s it…. just twin …nothing special really....
Location: Michelle you are from Rainham in the county of Kent also known as the garden of England, for its excellent produce. Kent is full of orchards and hops, greenery, beautiful landscapes and views. Such amusements as the Chatham Dockyard, Canterbury cathedral, the array of sleepy villages, white cliffs of Dover, the extensive farming history and the rural atmosphere make Kent an attraction to many.
Tom you’re from Luton in Bedfordshire. Luton is famous for…..(look puzzled…glance at audience)…. its Airport.
Despite that I do think that you will be compatible for marriage. I want to share this piece of wisdom that I hope will bless and encourage you in your walk together.
The stand up comedian Henry Youngman once said:
‘My wife and I have the secret to making a marriage last. Two times a week, we go to a nice restaurant, a little wine, good food..... She goes Tuesdays, I go Fridays.’
Or maybe we can say that any married man should forget his mistakes - there's no use in two people remembering the same thing.
On a more serious note in case difficulties or disagreements arise Michelle I’ve got you a small present-something carefully selected and very useful. Use it when needed-it’s guaranteed to make Tom favour your viewpoint. You’re likely to win an argument if you just apply this gift. ….(present Michelle with Luton Town FC Top and Hat)…….Now I know that it’ll be tough to wear…Don’t wear it when you don’t need to.
Since I have known Tom and Michelle as a couple it has been very encouraging to see that Jesus is the centre of their relationship. It’s not that they don’t love each other-they do…they adore each other. But they are involved in a three way relationship. Christ is the foundation and joy of this marriage-they want all that they do to honour and to adore Him. I find that so very humbling and exemplary.
This wedding has been all about Jesus-that’s they way Tom and Michelle wanted it. What I can see clearly is that they are evidently satisfied with Jesus. That’s the point of there lives to be satisfied with Christ-it’s to find worshipping Jesus the most pleasurable thing they do. When they don’t find Christ enjoyable-when there not overwhelmed with His goodness they call it sin. It’s rebelling against the God that made us. It’s telling the real God that he is not interesting, he’s not exciting, he’s not enjoyable. And we’ve all done this…we’ve all rejected Him. Despite this Tom and Michelle don’t walk in shame or guilt they live in the forgiveness that God has promised to everyone who will trust in Him. Jesus died to take away our sins. He died to free us from sins. He was punished for our sins.
God invites everyone to know this forgiveness of all sin, He invites everyone to come and enjoy Him-to praise Him.
I think that Michelle finds Tom attractive….(turn to Michelle) Am I right?…In the same way God wants everyone in this room to find Him massively attractive and beautiful. Come to God and hate your sin. That’s it.
Tom and Michelle I feel deeply privileged and I thank you for your friendship and love. I’m praying for God’s continued blessing on your life.
Tom I hope this quote will help you in your relationship with Michelle: Matthew Henry said ‘Eve was not taken out of Adam's head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.’
Will you all join me in raising your glasses in a toast to the bridesmaids Rachel, Kate and Sarah. You all look very wonderful.