Friday, August 06, 2010

A Wedding Homily

Last Sunday, I had the blessing of presiding over my first Anglican Wedding at a stellar facility, Glenn Garden in picturesque southwest Stafford County Virginia. The text of the wedding homily follows. The bride and groom's name are listed as "Gracie" and "George" to aide in keeping the privacy of the new couple...
1 John 4:7-16 (Let us love one another for love is of God)

We’re gathered here together this morning to witness and celebrate the covenantal joining of George and Gracie, as they pledge themselves to one another in the presence of Almighty God, their family, and friends.

Christian Marriage, towers high above other marriages as it is rooted in love. Unlike marriages that focus on what amounts to an economic transaction, or an act of diplomacy, Christian marriage is founded on God’s love for His creation and demonstrated in the love we have for our beloved. Scripture bears witness to the value our God places on marriage. Not only do we witness the joining of a man and women in the garden, we also see a picture of marriage in the depiction of Christ’s relationship to His bride, the church. In fact, St. John tells us in his gospel account even notes that our Master’s first miracle was done on behalf of a bride and groom.

The Command to Love

Already in this great day, Gracie and George have pledged their love to one another and will do so once more before their first official smooch as husband and wife. This is neither mere coincidence nor gushing sentimentality. Love is pledged because we’ve been called to love. We’re called to love because this is a gift of the Almighty given to each of us. Not only has God loved us, but by creating us in His image, He’s given us the capacity to love one another as He loves us. St. John, who once sought permission to call fire down on a village, now calls us to: “Love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Its only logical, and reasonable that we would love one another, as the beloved apostle reminds us: “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”

But what is Love? How can we tell the difference between the genuine and a mere quiver in our liver? Surely if we’ve been called to love one another, its helpful to know love and its expressions. We don’t have to sweat this because the God, who called us to love, has described love and demonstrated it in the life of His son, Christ Jesus.

The Characteristics of Love

St. Paul provides us with a masterful description of love and its characteristics in his writings to the Church in Corinth. He tells us that rather than being self-focused and narcissistic, love is directed outward towards its intended recipient. Love is patient and kind and certainly not arrogant, self-serving or begrudging. Love protects and trusts the object of its affections. Love seeks the very best for its recipient.

Friends because God is love as told by St. John, love will conquer all and love will not fail.

The Chrism of Love

Gracie and George, your love for one another is one very visible sign of the covenant relationship that you’re entering into today. Each expression of that love and kindness towards one another emphatically says “I’d marry you all over again.” It’s a visible sign, and oasis in our dry and graceless world that the Almighty God who brings two hearts and joins them as one, empowers them to love beyond their greatest expectations. As you grow together in Him, your love will become a beacon that will shine further than you’ll know this side of eternity.


Anonymous said...

Very nice Andy! - Bob H.

Anonymous said...

Oh Andy, what a touching homily; I loved the "quiver in the liver". I could definitely hear your voice in the message.

Susan Smith said...

Andy, I left the last comment about the touching homily; didn't mean to be anonymous