A number of people have asked if I would post the reflection from Brett and Edwina’s wedding…
We have gathered here to celebrate love; to celebrate the love in which Edwina and Brett have chosen to gives their lives to one another; the love in which, in just a few moments, they will make momentous, life changing, life shaping promises to one another.
And in doing so, they will commit themselves to walking the road that lies ahead of them together. Partners, willingly bound by the promises that they make to one another.
And so we hear once more the ancient words of the apostle: “Let love be genuine.”
The book of Romans, that our first reading was taken from, is perhaps the most complete and systematic descriptions of what it means to be a person of God. And as it draws to it’s conclusion, as it summarises the message of God, this is what it has to say:
Let love be genuine. Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honour. Words that any couple, whether on their wedding day or celebrating their golden wedding anniversary, might hear.
Contribute to the needs of the saints, it goes on; look out for those who are your people, your family, your friends; be the ones who step up to help when a friend is sick or struggling; don’t wait to be asked when you know someone needs a hand; be a friend, not just a Facebook friend.
And extend hospitality to strangers. Don’t limit your concern to those who are close to you. Open your eyes, your hands, your hearts, your lives, to those who are not your people, your tribe.
For this is the nature of love. It begins with those who are close; It begins with parent and child; but it grows to include those close to us, family, friends, and, most of all, the life partner we freely choose to give ourselves to. But it doesn’t end there. For the more we know love, the more we are able to love; the stronger and more secure the relationships we have with those who are closest to us, the more we are free to give, to share love, to practice hospitality, to live, as the reading goes on, in harmony; to live in peace.
For there is a sad truth we see far too often in our world today; that hate breeds hate; fear breeds fear; distrust breeds distrust; violence breeds violence. That is the way the world is.
But today we celebrate something counter cultural. In a world that values what you can get for yourself, today we celebrate what one can give to another. In a world that celebrates dominance, today we celebrate partnership. In a world that celebrates what you have, today we celebrate who you are.
For today we celebrate the love that we have because God first loved us; the love that empowers us to live not just for ourselves, but for another.
Today we celebrate love.