Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Wedding at 40,000 Feet

This amazing true story comes from Pastor Janice Carlton of Kenai United Methodist Church.  I was in worship with them last Sunday when she used this story to illustrate her sermon about our need to share our story with others.  I use this with permission.  This portion is copied from their Facebook page.
Last week on a flight inbound for Anchorage, our pastor Janice heard the flight attendants asked a couple seated in her row what was taking them to Alaska. They were headed to our state to celebrate the man's birthday, because Alaska was on his bucket list and to get married.

Janice took the opportunity to speak up sharing that, "I'm a minister". One thing led to another and a wedding was performed on the flight. In order for this marriage to take place, the plane needed to be at 40,000 feet and over international airspace. The bride was decked out by the flight attendants in a veil made of toilet paper. Her bouquet was made of Alaska Airline napkins. She walked down the long aisle while a passenger sang "Fly Me to the Moon." The groom and the minister (Janice) stood against the cockpit door watching her approach. Janice was amazed she remembered the marriage ceremony words.

As the preacher came to "I now pronounce you husband and wife" the ceremony was turned over to the pilot who had to remain in the cockpit. As "captain of the ship" he did the actual pronouncing
over the intercom. The bride threw the bouquet, coached by the flight attendants, directly to an Alaska Airlines pilot who was deadheading in first class. He caught it. A legal marriage ceremony had been performed.

On Tuesday, the newlyweds arrived in Kenai and reconfirmed their vows in our church since they actually were planning some kind of church wedding.
Pastor Janice used this story to point out that we as disciples of Jesus need to be open to opportunities to engage others for the sake of the gospel.  Many times we try to avoid such encounters.  The flight attendant was willing to be an impromptu wedding coordinator.  The couple was willing to share their story of their first trip to Alaska.  Janice was willing to say that she was a pastor.  The captain was willing to allow this celebration on his plane.  A woman was willing to sing a song. 
All of this came together in one magical moment to create a spontaneous celebration of love.  There were smiles, laughter, and applause on that plane.  God was already very present on that plane, but several people were willing to open the door wider so that others could experience the light of God!
How will you be open to the promptings of the Spirit today so that others may sense God's joy?
Grace Always,

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