Sunday, May 04, 2014

Wedding Sermon for Jimmy and Kristyn

There is more going on here at this wedding than simple words.  This is more than a ceremony, more than a party, more than a meeting of minds.  We hear familiar words here that could be spoken in any romantic comedy, and that makes it seem less than what’s really going on here.

All around us are forces.  Our minds are forces, our spirits and our wills.  We create with these forces, and we can destroy.  But creation is the greatest, because some creations never end.  Suppose you wanted to create a table, and you put all your effort into it, fashioning it out of wood, and the fibers weave together and it is a new, firm entity—a table.  Then someone else came along and decided to destroy it.  With great effort, they took a sledgehammer and attacked the table.  It took them a half hour to destroy what took many hours, perhaps days, for you to create.   But a stranger could come by after the destruction and the tears were over and say, “Hey, someone broke a table here.” 

Even after the destruction, the idea and the fine strokes of creation remain.  They don’t disappear.
That is the work of one person.  Each person, with our wills, our imaginations and our spirits can create something powerful, something that cannot be destroyed.   We can write a book that remains in the imagination of people long after every copy is burned.  We can take a picture that keeps the image of a building a century after the building has been torn down.  We can do an act of kindness that remains longer than the life we originally touched in the hearts of those who see it.  This is the power of a single, frail, faulty human being.

But what if there are two?  What if two minds, two wills, two imaginations, two spirits join together to do one task?  What a great task that should be!  One can write a book, but two can create a manifesto.  One can climb a ladder, but two can reach greater heights.  One can rejoice, but it takes two to love.  One can paint the Sistine Chapel, but it takes two to create a world.

When two people join together, become unified on this adventure that we call a marriage, they are not just creating a new life together, they are creating a new world.  A world that never existed, that could never have been imagined, suddenly pops into existence.   It isn’t just two people, two communities, two families that are forced together into a single world.  The marriage itself is the first conception, the first offspring of the couple.  And what we see right now as a seed, a bare beginning, is not just a life together, as wonderful as that is, it is a new culture, a new tradition, a new world.  The adventure of Jimmy and Kristyn will produce not just a life, but a world that no one has ever seen before.

The best thing, I think, about love is we see a whole other person, not just bits and pieces.  And that person is complex and intricate and contradictory and often confusing, but wonderful.  And we want to explore more of that other person, and all the strangeness that it offers.  I think that this is God’s trick: love.  It is His way of tying us together to the strangest, most alien thing in the world and we love every minute.  And every moment with this opposing force changes our very being, and our love of the Other, makes us a stronger person, able to deal with every crisis because we love the strangest animal that ever existed.  And we are beginning to understand that animal.  It’s tough work, but we enjoy every minute.   That’s God’s plan to make us better people through struggle and we love that struggle.  Because we are fighting to create a new world with the object of our love.

And as we understand the object of our desire more, with their complexity, we change and so we change them.  We aren’t ourselves anymore and neither are they.  We are both different because of each other and we do things and say things and think things that no one has ever done or said or thought.  We are a new creation, and together, we are born anew.  Pretty soon, no one gets us except our other, because no one went through our experiences.

That is, until someone does.  Get us, I mean.  Until we let another into our new culture, our new world.  More than likely that’s a baby.  But it could be a friend who’s down on his luck.  Or a stranger who needs a place to crash.  Or a relative who is having a hard time.  And the longer they spend in our new world, the more they are influenced and warped by that world.  If they stay long enough, this new world encompasses them, and they are a part of it.  They may stay or they may leave,  but they will take that new culture with them.  Parts of it.

And it all begins with the simple words: I do.   To say “I do” is to simply say, “I promise” or “I will.”  To make a promise is an act of creation.  It is the beginning of a new direction and in some cases it can be the beginning of a new world.  And to have two people say “I do” to a new world is a powerful thing.
But a wedding isn’t just two people saying “I do” to a new world.  We are all here to not just recognize that these two are going on a great adventure together, creating a new culture, but we are affirming that decision, we are saying “I do” with their “I do” and setting them off on their journey.

Wait, didn’t you get to say “I do”?  I heard Jimmy and Kristyn say it… didn’t you?  Well, let’s give you a chance.  “Family and friends of Jimmy and Kristyn, and even strangers if you just happen to walk in the door, do you affirm the joining of Jimmy and Kristyn?  Do you approve of them making a new world?  Do you rejoice in their adventure in creating something that has never been seen before?”  If you approve, then say, “I do”, on the count of three:

Now think about this.  If the force of two minds is powerful… if the force of two spirits and two wills and two imaginations is powerful, what about fifty or sixty?  Jimmy and Kristyn, all of these people together affirm your life.

Only one more thing to make it amazing and mindblowing.  The God of the universe, Jimmy, when you said, I Do, so did He.  And Kristyn, when you said I do, so did God.  And you guys in the audience, when you said, I do, God said it with you.  God’s hands are around your new life, your new culture, your new world.  His Spirit is the incubator in which your new world will grow.  The spirit of Jesus will make it grow in love, in heart and in power.   From this moment, God is the Great Force that will make you guys grow together.

And what God has joined together, no human being can take apart.


Steven D said...

Congratulations and God's peace to the new couple (with an edifying and levelheaded message for the occasion)!

Steven D said...
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