Today is a very special day for flick, one of my most dear friends, and for drplokta, someone she loves very much. I'm very aware that my views on marriage, on faith, on religion, and on the relationships between them, are in a minority; but they remain my views, and they condition my state of mind whenever I'm preparing for a wedding. It's sensible, therefore, to write a little about how I feel today; about how I feel whenever I'm at an event like this, and about how I feel about today in particular.
As man and woman we were made That love be found and life begun, So praise the Lord Who made us two, And praise the Lord when two are one; Praise for the love that comes to life Through child or parent, husband, wife.
John writes "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. [...] Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (I John 4:7-8,11-12) You'll see, therefore, that love is absolutely central to my faith, and that whenever I see love demonstrated it brings my faith to mind. Very recently, nwhyte was talking about creeds. I wrote "I believe in God, who loves me, and who hopes and trusts that I will respond to that love." Love is endorsed by my faith; is expected by my faith; is mandated by my faith. My faith, as it says in this icon, is built on love.
Now Jesus lived and gave His love To make our life and loving new; So celebrate with Him today And drink the joy He offers you; That makes the simple moment shine And changes water into wine.
So that faith, the love which flows from it, the love which lies at the heart of the ceremony today, places my God in the very centre of my response to today's events. God loves us, He loves us completely and wholeheartedly, and he longs for us to have the best life that it's possible for us to have. He longs to see us give that love to others and to receive it in return. The love of one person for another is the best gift someone can give to God; the most complete, most apt, most faithful reflection there can be of God's love for us.
And Jesus died to live again, So praise the love that, come what may, Can bring the dawn and clear the skies, And waits to wipe all tears away; And let us hope for what shall be, Believing where we cannot see.
I've had my fair share of tears; elsewhere I've quoted Matheson writing "I trace the rainbow through the rain, and feel the promise is not vain that morn shall tearless be." Today is a good day to wipe those tears away. For Flick, I wish the best life that it's possible for her to have. I'm pleased, delighted, to see her give and receive love with someone she finds very special indeed. Praise God for love, his best gift to humankind; like him, I hope that everyone finds love, and finds it in all its fullness.
Then spread the table, clear the hall, And celebrate till day is done; Let peace go deep between us all And joy be shared by everyone; Laugh and make merry with your friends, And praise the love that never ends!
Song lyrics are by Brian Wren (1936-). In the UK the words are copyright OUP, while in the USA, they are copyright Hope Publishing Company. From their website: "Fair use permits portions of copyrighted works to be legally reproduced for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, classroom teaching, scholarship, and research."