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Wedding of Sylvia Dickson / Van Barkus

HLC-N  6/29/97       Texts: Eccles 4.9-12; 1 John 4.9-12; Romans  5.5-7 

deep breath: think about everything that has happened in the past year to bring you to this moment

took you long enough to meet; haircut; health problems in the family, dealing w/ weather, moving (all), quitting smoking, getting ready for wedding, everyday stuff of (home)work, travel, family - it’s a miracle that you might it to this day

like the finally-coming-true of a long-held dream, a sense in which is like a fairy tale, the start of a “lived happily ever after”: romance and love

I hope you and everyone here today feels a bit of the romance of this ceremony / experience the fairy tale type of happiness that this wedding brings for this celebration is a time for love and fairy tale dreams and the start of a happily ever after

but as we all know, fairy tales sometimes turn out to be ONLY make believe in grim light of a real world w/ real problems which can be far more scary than any monster or dragon or witch

you know what I mean: you’re thinking he’s way too logical and you’re still trying to figure out her logic works; it seems you hardly ever talk to each other except to make decisions or settle problems, instead of relaxing and playing cards you worried about credit cards;... and you think: romance is gone

in describing the trials and tensions of married life, I know I'm not telling you anything you're not expecting,

but in few moments, you two are solemnly going to promise your lifelong love for each other even under the most complex and difficult and un-fairy-tale like of situations.

I am certain that you will both do your very best to live out your good intentions, but in the real world, there are no magic potions, no golden-egg laying hens, no fairy godmothers who can fix everything with the wave of a wand

so how are you going to manage your marriage?  how are you going to keep romance alive?  how are you going to keep your marriage together, keep it all together and make your lives turn out happily ever after?

the answer seems obvious,: like it says in the 1 John text you chose for today: Love one another - anything simpler?

Yet true LOVE is anything but simple as you live it out in your daily lives where fairy godmothers don’t come around to do the laundry and fix the meals or get the homework done, worry about cleaning  windows, vacuum the floors, get grocery or fix supper etc

remind you that it is impt to disting between the LOVE that never ends and simple,worldly  little thing called LUV - uc

- you fall in LUV at first glance, but you must grow in LOVE

- LUV is an impulse, but LOVE involves decisions / commitment,

- LUV is glamorous and self-gratifying, LOVE is patient and kind

- LUV can be selfish and suspicious and jealous, but LOVE is not envious or boastful or arrogant

- LUV happens quickly, easily, and just as quickly/easily disap’ears

         - LOVE takes time and energy, but also ... LOVE never ends

the Greek language of Bible has two separate words to describe these loves: the LUV word has to do with feeling, emotions, that arise with intimate assoc. - good thing: But can’t be commanded

BUT LOVE arises from a keen sense of the value and worth in the object of our love - it is something you can do and I want you to remember to do throughout your marriage: value, treasure, appreciate

feelings/passions/LUV may have ups/downs BUT you can always LOVE

Yet not just you 2 in this marriage:

the Eccl passage gave some very practical wisdom: the two of you can succeed where each of you alone might fail. 

but last verse of reading goes on to say that a rope of 3 cords is not easily broken.  What is that 3rd cord?  I’d like you to envision that the cord that will kep your marrge tied together is God hmslf

It is God's love intertwined among your love for each other that will keep your love strong and growing. 

And it is God’s love that makes it possible for you to love each other-

still seem like a hard command? to love one another,

it is impt to see that with everything that God commands, there is also a promise, and the promise is this: What God has joined together, that shall not be separated

it is is the love of God which will keep you together because God's love is far stronger and more powerful and more wonderful than even the most passionate and romantic of human loves

So you see: you need not wish for some fairy GODmother to help you out of trouble - you can count on a wonderful, loving GOD who will be there with you in the midst of sickness and health and better and worse and all that the years may bring

So, when it's one of those times when you know that your life ain't no fairy tale, times when human LUV falters, that's when you will most appreciate God's LOVE.

that's when you will be able to rejoice that it is God who has joined you together and makes it possible for you to LOVE one another

so what we celebrate here today is even better than a fairy tale - it truly is a miracle-- for we can rejoice that you can indeed live—and love—happily ever after because you are held in God's never-ending love          AMEN.

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