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Special day today - Songs of innocence and of experience [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Douglas Spencer

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Special day today [Sep. 15th, 2006|09:06 am]
Douglas Spencer

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."

[User Picture]From: flick
2006-09-15 08:21 am (UTC)
Thank you, darling.

I'll see you later!
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[User Picture]From: abigail_42
2006-09-15 08:42 am (UTC)
Have a lovely day Flick.
Thinking of you all.
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[User Picture]From: seph_hazard
2006-09-15 10:28 am (UTC)
Thank you. Really; thank you.

Today is a good day to wipe those tears away.
You're absolutely right. For myself-though not neccesarily as much as for you-a wedding is an occasion that could easily bring feelings of sadness, which I deal with by ignoring it and throwing myself into the merriment of the day. But what you've got here is an entirely different way of approaching it; not to ignore any feelings of sadness but to come at the whole thing from a different angle, and angle where they aren't there anyway.

Thank you.

And I'll see you there, darling! [hugs]
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[User Picture]From: frandowdsofa
2006-09-15 12:16 pm (UTC)
well said that man
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[User Picture]From: watervole
2006-09-15 12:59 pm (UTC)
Beautifully written. Marriage can be a linking of two lives in a bond of love. I read this, and I think of Richard - and I smile across the room at him, and he smiles across back at me.

We played a game together after lunch (together as he's not working today). Later on, we'll share a walk.

Love isn't about big, spectacular things. It isn't the wedding, but the meaning behind it - and what you say speaks of that.

I chose to get married in church in spite of being an athiest - not because I wanted the pretty building, etc. but becasue I wanted to *feel* married. I wanted to feel that connection and take it forward in my life.

The more you love, the more you can love.

Parents who love each other, have more love for their children. A happy marriage can spare love for friends and relatives (and God from your angle).

People who love God (or anyone else) have more love in their lives for the sick, the poor, etc. I don't believe people help others becasue of a desire for heaven (any more than suicide bombers kill in order to enjoy all those virgins). I think they do it out of love.

I wish Flick and Mike lots of love.
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From: ex_the_major316
2006-09-15 04:36 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: robthefish
2006-09-15 04:59 pm (UTC)
Best Wishes
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[User Picture]From: dougs
2006-09-17 08:25 pm (UTC)
It gets suggested from time to time.

The job all Christians are given is to "go out into the world and tell the Good News to everyone" (Mark 16:15).

If I go into conventional, church-based, ordained ministry then I'll be based in a church somewhere, and I'll be prevented from doing that, firstly because of the burden of administrative and pastoral work, and secondly because even when I'm given the opportunity to write and preach along the lines I've outlined above, I'll be doing it in a Church, in front of a gradually diminishing number of people who already know the story. And having to be in Church every Sunday will stop me doing most of the going-out-into-the-world that I currently do.

As things stand at the moment, I spend pretty much all my time amongst people who haven't heard the Good News, or haven't accepted it; I try to demonstrate the love of God through the way I live my life, I try always to be open to explain my faith when someone asks about it; and, most importantly, many of the people who listen to what I have to say, or read what I write, are people who would have to go out of their way to read what I would write as a minister -- and they would never do that.

There's a doctrine called "the Ministry of All Believers" (Google) that this is all part of. "Ministry" in the conventional, ordained sense would cripple what I'm able to do here.
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