September 1, 2017 @ 9:03 PM

Elsie and I just returned from a wedding in London, England. Yes, we are now jetsetters (ha, that was the first time out of the country for Elsie and the first time in England for me in 50 years)! The experience was excellent and not a little eye-opening. We saw Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, the Tower Bridge, Big Ben, the Tower of London and the crown jewels, Winston Churchill’s War Rooms, and the Royal Observatory (where the prime meridian is calculated and east meets west). It was all fascinating and educational. 

The highlight of the trip for both of us? Attending All Souls Church in North London on a Sunday. All Souls Church was made famous by Pastor John Nash, and his successor, John R. W. Stott. It is an evangelical Anglican church. The service was so moving. We took four modes of public transportation to reach All Souls Church and consequently arrived 30 minutes late for the worship service. As we walked in and took our seats we were rewarded with the congregational singing of “It is Well with My Soul.” It moved me to tears. The sermon by Rev. Chris Wright was expository with a powerful application to the daily lives of believers. What a morning and worth every effort to get there!

The contrast between worshiping in that humble, Christ-exalting church and the secular wedding we had attended the day before was stunning. In England brides and grooms have the choice between a civil and a church wedding. The civil wedding (chosen by the couple whose wedding we attended) is much like being married in America by a justice of the peace. There is no mention of God, no prayer, no singing, and no sermon. The official at this wedding read the vows and the recorder wrote the responses of the bride and groom and made the dutiful legal notations. Then two of the wedding party read tributes to the bride and groom. Again, no mention of God never mind Jesus Christ. Very legal and very spiritually sterile. Can you pick up that all this bugged me?

Brothers and sisters, I long to see and hear Christ unashamedly exalted and worshiped as He was at All Souls Church. May we have the attitude of the Apostle Peter who declared of Jesus Christ, “And there is salvation in no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

Just give me Jesus,