Don’t know how well you are acquainted with country and western star, Lyle Lovett, but I have had an interest in him for 20 years. I’ll explain in a moment.The Texas Monthly ran a feature entitled “13 Famous Texans’ Favorite Places.” When it was Lyle Lovett’s turn, he said that his favorite place was St. Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin, Texas.
Now my connection to Mr. Lovett is tenuous at best. If you remember, Mr. Lovett married actress Julia Roberts in 1993. It was a short marriage that lasted only a couple of years. But Lovett and Roberts were married at St. James Lutheran Church, Marion IN and I was in the neighborhood (well, if you can call being 20 miles away in Muncie IN where I was serving at Grace Lutheran Church at that time in the “neighborhood”).
Mr. Lovett has been a life-long member of my denomination, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and he wanted to be married in a Lutheran church. As this was a quick, whirlwind romance, Lovett was touring when he and Miss Roberts decided to get married. It so happened that one of Lovett’s tour crew was a member at the church in Marion and suggested that the pastor, Rev. Mark Carlson, might be willing to officiate the wedding. Phone calls were made and arrangements were finalized for the wedding at St. James.
A couple of days later, Lovett’s tour buses pulled into St. James’ parking lot and formed a barricade in front of the church to prevent photographers from getting their pictures. Mr. Lovett and Miss Roberts entered the church and a “lovely wedding” (those were the words from Pastor Carlson). Lovett’s band played for the service and I don’t know if Lovett sang. There were less than 100 guests at the service.
Obviously I was not invited but the pastors of our area heard the details of the wedding the next time our circuit pastor’s conference convened. Needless to say, we were impressed but also wondering how long this marriage would hold together. It didn’t take long for things to begin unraveling and we pastors kidded Carlson about his inability to make this marriage work.
What this points out is that we pastors have little to do with the success or failure of weddings we are part of. The success of a marriage lies on the couple’s leaning on the Lord for His help and strength every day they are together. When we trust in ourselves only, success is not guaranteed.
Mr. Lovett still attends church in Texas and he has moved on in his relationships. He is a forgiven child of God and I’m sure has learned a lesson from his marriage to Julia Roberts.