Last Saturday I was asked to give the message at a friends wedding, it was a rel privilige to do so, since then I have been asked to reproduce it, so here it is:
There was also a reading from mother Julian of Norwich.
C&S have chosen a powerful reading, a reading that acknowledges that the source of the love that they have found in one another lies beyond them. In that acknowledgement lies a deep and holy strength, a strength that will allow them to live within and draw upon the love of God, a love that Mother Julian reminds us " has never slackened nor ever shall".
She also tells us that; "All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well."
All shall be well, for love is here.
All shall be well for we are loved, each one of us cherished, unique, valued, sought after and held in the heart of love. What a wonderfully creative sense of humor God has!
Each one of us known through and through.
Each one of us held in the love that is God.
All shall be well, love is here, and all shall be well.
It is a topic that has consumed artists of all kinds throughout human history; paintings, poems, novels and more all explore the topic of love. The question of what love is and what it means to be loved acts itself out on stage and screen, through word, song, movement and dance. It comes to us daily in human stories via the news, dramas, documentaries, sop operas and more.
Philosophers ask the question, as do theologians, even science looks into the physical, biological, sociological and psychological benefits of love to the whole person and therefore to society, acknowledging that we need more in our lives than food and shelter. We need love, we were made by love for love. To love and to be loved is a part of who we are, fo all to be well we need to dwell in love.
True love is not soft and fluffy.
True love is not sentimental or weak.
True love is powerful, overwhelming and quite unstoppable.
True love should never be treated carelessly or lightly. True love as the Scriptures remind us has its source, its completion and its identity in God.
Listen to the powerful words of Mother Julian again:
He loves us and enjoys us. Hear that for yourself...
He loves you and enjoys you. He loves YOU, and enjoys YOU!!! God LOVES you and ENJOYS you.
If you are able to even begin to recieve the awesome truth of that, able to be open to that then you are beginning to connect with and understand the heart of God. The heart of God who shows himself in the wonder and joy of creation. The heart of God who could not hold love back but revealed himself to us in the person of Jesus, even pouring out his life on the cross.
God is always for us, always at work within us, and all around us, wooing us and waiting for us to awaken to the presence of love in our lives. As God is love so we are love, but very often we need to discover this, discover that he has always and always will love us first.
S&C, as we gather as your friends and family today we pray that you will continue to draw upon the never slackening love of God. We pray that in your openness to God that you will mirrior that love not only to one another but also to those around you, that you will be channels of his love, life and peace. May the gift of your marriage give to you and to us a fresh glimpse of the heart of God.
For Gods love reaches its goal when we not only receive it but allow it to work within us freeing us and opening our hearts to the other, creating life-giving relationships that feed us all. As we join you in celebrating today you do indeed grant us a glimpse of loves glory and we are reminded that in a world where there is so much global and personal pain that: All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.
We are reminded that each of us here is loved and capable of love, unique, special and held in the heart of the God who loved us first.
I leave you with a prayer, again from Mother Julian:
Lord before ever you made us you loved us. Nor has your love ever slackened, nor ever shall. In love all your works have begun, and in love they continue. In this love our life is everlasting, and in this love we shall see you and be glad forever. Amen.
Picture: New beginnings ( mine)