God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. - 1 John 4:17-18
There's nothing like an idyllic wedding to provide some much-needed healing at the tail end of a tough week. Yesterday evening, just before sunset, Rebekah married our friends Tom and Linda at a quiet ceremony with just a few family and friends on the edge of Lake Thonotosassa, a few minutes north of Brandon.
I love these small family weddings. Our friends are both mature, with young adult children and a whole history of lives lived with honest struggle and more than their fair share of pain. And here they are, ready to put it all on the line for one another and to believe that God is going to honor their commitment and bless their union with his grace.
The setting was nothing short of story-book. Florida in all of its finest; spectacular sunset as backdrop for the opening act of new promise. And, as I listened to the pure tones of the guitar/violin duo who provided the music, my eyes filled with tears for Geoff. Not out of sadness so much as the bittersweet understanding that his music, the song that was my brother's life, had truly drawn to a close and I could hear the faint echoes of the last measures intermingled with the strains of "How Great Thou Art," as the notes tumbled across the lake.
Today is Sunday. What better prelude to a day of worship than an evening where we acknowledge that love is the focal point of everything that matters. Love grounded in faithfulness, love expressed in commitment, love celebrated in the context of community, and love rooted in Christ.
In love, and because of love - DEREK