Saturday, 28 July 2012

Wedding Words and a Wordle: a Short Homily with Reference to John 15:9-12 and The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage in The Book of Alternative Services—for Gerron and Angela Hogg

Strong, definite words. 

  • Love (7 times in the reading plus 7 times in the service so far—11 to come)
  • Command
  • Joy.

Same in the service. So far we’ve heard, or read, strong words like;

  • Celebration
  • Blessing
  • Jesus
  • Marriage
  • Delight
  • Tenderness
  • Good
  • Bad
  • Holy state
  • Solemn vows
  • Lives’ end.

They will get even more pointed as this Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage before God goes on. Gerron and Angela will be making solemn vows using words like;

  • Better
  • Worse
  • Richer
  • Poorer
  • Sickness
  • Health
  • God’s holy law
  • All that I am
  • All that I have

And then we’ll be praying for them using words like

  • Your son gave his life
  • Unity
  • Estrangement
  • Forgiveness
  • Guilt
  • Joy
  • Despair
  • Faithfulness
  • Truth
  • Security
  • Loyalties
  • Lead us not into temptation
  • Deliver us from evil
  • The way of the cross
  • Enemy
  • Death
  • Heaven
  • Age to come
  • Life everlasting

Life and death words. Uncompromising. Real life. For keeps. Costly words if we’re going to take them seriously and live them out. Not to be undertaken lightly.

Today we’re enjoying a celebration and a blessing. Joyful. Fun. We’re also witnessing the beginning of a marriage which is all the words I’ve just listed rolled up in one glorious, frustrating, delightful, maddening, incomprehensible, life-long, God-given gift. Angela and Gerron will spend the rest of their lives unwrapping it. The best source of support and help with that is Jesus Christ, in whose presence we are in this ceremony and through whom we will pray God’s blessing on them today. Gerron and Angela, make a point of including Him and His Church in your new life together as a married couple.