Monday, November 26, 2012

two weddings...

Sunset at the beach – Ruskin
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
This weekend I attended two weddings. Two simple ceremonies designed to launch the beginnings of a new family in the context of blessing, promise, encouragement, and committed love.
People show up, in part, because weddings are festive and fun; they come because they love their friends; they come for the good food; they come for the entertainment. But mostly, I’m more and more convinced, they show up because they believe in the story.
WHY? It’s a curious thing, this enthusiasm for weddings, when we consider that so many marriages today go belly up. Commitments fail; love proves imperfect; faithfulness is set aside; vows are ignored; what is promised with such passion and intensity goes by the wayside; relationships are broken; people are broken; families crumble.
Yet still people come. They dress in their finest, they celebrate, and they are genuinely enthusiastic. People who are struggling in their own marriage, some stuck in a pattern of failing, the terminally single, and those who have been divorced several times; yet still they pat the couple on the back and tell them how wonderful marriage is and then they pray, with all sincerity, that this time, and for these young people, the future will be bright.
STORY: I’m convinced that the reason people keep showing up at weddings – and with such a positive spirit – is because (even if they don’t know that they do) they believe in the story.
I’m convinced that the reason people keep showing up at weddings – and with such a positive spirit – is because (even if they don’t know that they do) they believe in the story.
The story of love is beautiful…
The story of love is beautiful, and it is rooted in the truth that when a family is constructed around mutual respect, generosity, service to one-another, kindness, gentleness, and the practice of Christ-like love, then the result can be a slice of heaven on earth.
All of these people – folk who carry all kinds of battle-scars and who know firsthand the pain of broken relationships – continue to show up at weddings because they believe that the story itself is more compelling than the mess people so often make of it.
And at both these weddings these people heard the good news – if they could receive it – that this good story is not some made-up fairytale, but a promise and a possibility that each one of us can enter into. It’s nothing less than the Greatest Story Ever Told.
BLESSINGS: So Saturday night, after the sun melted into the western reaches of the Gulf of Mexico, Rebekah and I looked around at so many of the people we know and love, and we could say with confidence that the testimony of their faithful lives confirms that the story we all love so much really is true.
So joy and promise to you, Melissa and Wade, and to Katie and Arthur too. Stand firm in the promises you made, love one another like crazy, and believe with all your heart.
Melissa and Wade

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