How would you like to be lost in Pune at 10.50 AM - knowing that your very dear friends are getting married at 11 AM - and that you are the best man - so the wedding party is waiting for you?
Add another tale to the Eicher's life - the case of the missing best-man - starring yours truely and a motely crew of saints in a minibus. We had left Mumbai early in the morning to drive to Pune. Your humble Eichers got up at 3.30 to get to the designated meeting point - sadly - a few others did not meet the time lines - including the bus itself. By the time we had come to the outskirts of Pune we were there by the skin of our teeth. By the time we got lost - that skin had disappeared. Yours truly did not exhibit too much grace - and other assorted fruit of the Spirit on the occasion....
The marriage of Jeremy Richards and Mary Jacob was a sight to see and a time to cherish. The vows were exchanged at the Hindustani Covenant Church - in an ancient chapel that was clearly an British army church at one point (Jesus carried a flag of England in one stained glass window and below him were the crests of two regiments in memory of fallen comrades).
"This is amazing" was what Jeremy kept saying through the day of his betrothal. A glorious day of joy as he and Mary pledged to honour, love and protect each other from that day forth. We were so blessed to actually be with them - and witness the fruit of much prayer and hope.
Uncle Geoff Richards spoke about how Jesus was invited to a wedding - and how He comes - but how also He is the one who is the host. Uncle Geoff reminded us that all the servants gave Jesus was water - common - simple stuff - but when given in obedience to Jesus - He turned it into the finest of wines. We also bring our common, broken lives to Him - and He changes us into something beautiful.
In the midst of the joy there was also the note of sorrow. Uncle Geoff shared that it was two years to the day that his beloved wife Jeanne had gone home to be with Jesus after a long fight with cancer. For us as a family our joy was tempered by the shadow of death - on our way to the wedding we received a call the Mr. Mark had died at the JSK Centre at 10 AM. Uncle Geoff reminded us that following Jesus does not mean everything is always easy - but that joy - real deep and true joy - will find its way to us through the griefs we go through.
As a family we celebrate Jeremy and Mary's life together. Uncle Geoff talked about a uniting of lives - we started the day with Jeremy and Mary as separate people - during the day they were united. Their journey as a new entity - a new union as Jeremary - has begun in the presence of God and man. We rejoice at the reality of them growing more and more as one - and being an every greater blessing to others.
Our thoughts also go back to our own parents. Uncle Geoff and Aunty Jeanne sang at Mum and Dad's wedding in 1967. The legacy of Godly parents and their sacrificial lives have been a deep and lasting blessing to us all. It was a special blessing to represent the Eichers on this wonderful day.
The next gen of Eichers were in full swing too. Asha was a very enthusiastic flower girl - going well beyond the call of duty. Enoch did not have a specific role - but made up for is with energetic running around.
I had been asked to raise a toast to the newly-weds. As part of the happy haze that surrounded the wedding - the grape juice had already been served as a cooling sherbert - and so we had a toast without the liquid - but a blessing none-the-less.