Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Miracle of Marriage (A Wedding Meditation)

     Love has brought us together.  Joshua and Megan, it is my honor to have the privilege to officiate at your wedding this evening in front of all your family and friends.  Since the two of you did not take my advice and elope, you will now have to suffer the price that must be paid . . . yeah, you know it . . . a meditation.  In all honesty, I am not use to giving meditations during wedding services . . . not use to giving little tidbits about marriage . . . but, your mothers said that they wanted their bang for their bucks and a twenty minute service would do it.  So, I apologize to the two of you, to the congregation that is gathered, and to all those advice columnists out there in the world . . . I am going to share a few words of marital wisdom and advice.  Take your shoes off, relax, and enjoy the show . . . we should be done in about an hour!  I told you . . . you should have eloped!

     I want you to know, that I mulled over what I was going to say for several months.  I was told to put what marriage means into my own words . . . and if that is the case, then run boy, run . . . it is not too late! 

     Actually, I am kidding.  This ceremony of marriage is a confirmation of your love for each other . . . it is a visual demonstration of your willingness to come together, to share your lives, and to take care of one another as you journey through life through the good days and the bad days . . . through sickness and health . . . through richer and poorer.  You are saying that I “I want to be with you and only you.”  You are declaring that tie that binds you together in front of these witnesses and God.  Because of this willingness, I am going to let you in on a little secret . . . marriage is a miracle.  Author Elizabeth Gilbert writes: “To be fully seen by somebody, then, and be loved anyhow—this is a human offering that can border on the miraculous.”  So marriage will be for the two of you.

     In its simplest definition, a miracle reveals God’s presence.  God’s presence is all around us like the air that we breathe.  In the beauty of this setting, we see God’s presence.  But, more importantly, we see and experience God’s presence in those who have gathered here this evening.  In the Book of Genesis the writers tell us that all of humanity—each and every one of us—has been created in the image of God—that God is with us and in us.  God’s presence is here . . . and, it will always be wherever we are.  So it will be for the two of you.

     Remember this as you enter into this bond of marriage . . . that God is with you, always with you.  Remember this because marriage does not end with the two of you saying, “I do.”  Far from it . . . you are just beginning and there is a long, long way yet to go . . . and, it won’t always be easy.  In fact, I want you both to understand that marriage is hard work.  Marriage is not a noun . . . is not stagnant, but is a living, growing, fluid verb that is constantly changing as you journey through life.  And, because it is a living and growing thing, it will have more than its fair share of ups and downs, joys and concerns, tears and laughter, good and bad . . . but, remember, you are not alone . . . God is with you.

     So, here is my advice—in my own words . . . work hard at your relationship as husband and wife.  Heed the vows that you are about to make to one another . . . take them seriously . . . live them out each day.  Marriage is not easy, but together you make it a blessing.  Learn to be open and honest with one another . . . be willing to talk to one another . . . and, be willing to listen—really listen.  Don’t be afraid to share your dreams and concerns with one another.  Be willing to look at life through one another’s eyes, to see one another in all that you have been created to be . . . trust me, you won’t always like what you see . . . you won’t always be able to change what you don’t like, but see it through the eyes of another and discover the gift that the other truly is.  Accept one another for the gift that God create you to be . . . this is where real love begins and is sustained.

     God’s presence is being revealed this evening . . . in plain sight for those who have eyes to see with . . . a presence that is always with us.  We are witnessing a miracle.  If there is nothing else you remember from this meditation, remember this: God is with us . . . God is with you . . . always.  Never forget God’s presence in your lives . . . not just in those moments while hiking in the mountains . . . not just in those moments when gathered for worship in a church . . . not just in those moments of silence and prayer, but in every moment in which you live . . . God is with you.  And, because God is with you, you are never alone . . . ever.

     If you remember God’s presence in your lives . . . in the good and the bad . . . in the easy and difficult . . . in richness and poverty . . . health and sickness . . . in the boring and exciting times . . . in the thick of an argument . . . you will do fine in this marriage business.  Marriage is tough work, but if you remember to keep the “other” centered in your love and devotion you can make it through anything . . . you will discover the miracle that is marriage.

     Speaking, not only for myself, but others who are gathered here this evening, we are honored and blessed to be witnesses of your promises of love and devotion.  May the love you plant this evening grow into the love that lasts a life time and beyond.  Thank you for giving us this opportunity to be reminded, once again, of the presence of God in our lives.  If you keep one another and God in your hearts . . . acknowledging one another . . . listening to one another . . . the miracle is born.  Remember it is love that has brought you together . . . remember, God is love . . . quite a miracle we have here in the making.  May the miracle last . . . Amen.

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