Saturday, 31 July 2010

Wedding Sermon

Well congratulations to Alison and Lee, getting married today. Here is my address:

Intro – only love counts for anything
The reading we heard from the bible is a beautiful one.. it is written by St Paul and generally he is hard to understand.. however, somehow, in the middle of this letter to the Corinthians this rather stilted and unintelligible single man manages to come up with this most beautiful love poem… when I look at poems about love, about the essence of love, that word that we find so difficult to explain, I don’t find a better description than this. He says is only love that counts for anything, in the final analysis – if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith to move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.

We seek love
We are nothing without love, without love our lives are empty, form the cradle to the grave we seek to give and receive love, we seek mutual unconditional acceptance, we seek to comfort and to be comforted, we seek to know and to be known completely.

Hard calling
But love is a hard calling… it is a place for heroes and not cowards, for love involves some part of us dying, it involves putting away masks, and being vulnerable, it involves weakness in the hope that the other will not despise us, it involves trust and an ability to withstand being wounded without becoming hard. And it can only survive in a place of mutuality and intimacy, if it was not accepted and cherished would simply be crushed. It takes two to make a relationship grow and thrive. In this passage it is possible to take the word love and replace it with our names:

4 Alison is patient; Lee is kind; Alison is not envious or boastful or arrogant 5 or rude. Lee does not insist on his own way; he is not irritable or resentful; 6 she does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. 7 He bears all things, believes all things, she hopes all things, endures all things.

Love makes us alive
Without love we are not truly alive. It is love that brings the highest joy and the deepest grief. I hope that all of us can think of someone who loved us unconditionally, perhaps a parent or a kind friend. Perhaps they are no longer with us and we regret their passing. And thinking perhaps about the love that a mother has for her children, then I believe that love is truly eternal, if we ever loved at all and that love was ever of any substance then it is eternal.

Love is for all of us – a gift from God
So love is wider than marriage.. love is for all of us.. if we can open our hearts. Few weddings happen in church any more.. and yet for those of us who are Christians, everything is all about love.. and so it seems to me entirely appropriate that these two people are making this commitment in this place before the God of love and asking those who they love to support them on this wonderful and sometimes scary journey ahead.

We ask God to teach us to love and to know God’s love, we ask God’s blessing on all of us, but in particular we ask that Alison and Lee will know God’s love in the highs and the lows, that they will spend their lives loving one another ever more deeply and that we will help them and hold them in this quest. Amen


  1. Nice sermon. - Hope you don't mind but I pinched a bit of it for wedding this afternoon :)

  2. Glad you like it. No of course not - it is here to be pinched