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29.6.13

From a Wedding Homily

So much that a preacher would normally say to a couple and their families at a wedding has no need to be said this day. So much that I could say has been expressed in language far richer than I could muster.This leaves a homily stripped of its humour, its practical application, and reduced to a raw heart, of Love.

God is Love the Scripture tells us. Like hot coals, love burns the Scripture tells us.

With love comes pain and joy, the delight of sharing souls and the participation in one-another's hurts and harms. To love is to give that which one should not be willing to give. To love is to take that which one should not be willing to receive.

Such is the love of God, exuberant in its self-sacrifice, joyful to the point of solemnity. Such love transforms us, never denying the past, but shaping that past into a part of the future.When we are joined together in holy matrimony we acknowledge that shaping - and willingly submit, not just to our beloved but to love itself. 

In that mutual submission, new life is born. To reduce this to a merely physical expression would be to dismiss the reoccurring Christian narrative of spiritual birth.When we love another with the love that God is, then we are a little more in the image of God, and so His creative action flows out of that union. Those closest to us can be caught up in this spiritual procreation, bringing blessing to household, family, friends and community.

For although marriage is deeply personal, marriage is not a private thing. Expressed in the laws and liturgy of the church - through public proclamation, the reading of banns, the use of nave and chancel not drawing room and study, the ringing of bells even; the love that we celebrate today is explicit in its publicity.

It is great pleasure to share in this celebration with you. Although I joined your hands this day, they were I think already joined in love. May the love that God is be at the centre of your life together as you bring all that you are, together to shape what shall be.Amen