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A Wedding Homily

We are here with you because we are here for you (repeat). We have come from many regions of the world and many ranges of your past experience in order to be present here, to share your presence, and our presence with you. Here with you, we are here for you.
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A Wedding Homily
Scripture: 1 John 4: 7-17 ('His love abides in us')

Thou Blessed Bride and Blessed Groom

We are here with you because we are here for you (repeat). We have come from many regions of the world and many ranges of your past experience in order to be present here, to share your presence, and our presence with you. Here with you, we are here for you.

And yet, quite soon, we will not be present, at least most of us. The airplane will taxi down the runway, the gas tank will be filled, and we will be off, absent, or present in thought and care but not in flesh and bone. We will need to give you over, and to give over your commitment to, your delight in, and your wonder at each other, to...Another Presence, God's Presence. God's presence, spirit, or, as the reading for today names it, God's Abiding in us. As will you, day by day, so will we need to trust in...Another Presence.

You will sense the warm breeze, the sunlit horizon, the abiding grace of God's Presence by its fruit (Galatians 5:22-3). Another Presence, of which you become aware, in your daily life together, by sensing the fruit of this presence. God's love abides in us and is made whole in us, through these marks, these footprints, these touches of grace.

In Love. Love is the attentive gift of time, as in the course of a lifetime of marriage. In Love.

In Joy. Joy is happy embrace--physical, mental, spiritual, soulful--morning and evening. In Joy.

In Peace. Peace is the gift--all these are pure gifts of God--of real listening, listening with a full smile and a glad heart. In Peace.

In Patience. A marriage needs persistence, the accelerator, and patience, the break, to make it over the mountains and through the deserts, and across the great plains of life. Said the Buddha: patience is self-compassion which gives you equanimity. In Patience.

In Kindness. Kindness is the long distance run, the gift of a gracious long distance perspective, known in part in the openness to forgiveness. In Kindness.

In Goodness. Real Goodness bursts forth in generosity. You only have what you give away, and you only truly possess what you have the grace and freedom to offer to someone else. What you give is what you have. In Goodness.

In Faith. Faith is a gift, like all other signs of abiding love. Faith is the capacity to withstand what and when we cannot understand (repeat). When you face struggle, challenge, difficulty, may this gift be yours by divine grace. In Faith.

In Gentleness. Tea, sunset, backrub, quiet, handholding, prayer, worship. In Gentleness.

In Self-Control. Self-Control, a gift of God's Presence, guides you to work through any and all labors: in care for family and extended family; in stewardship of precious material wealth, never plentiful but regularly sufficient; in sensitivity in intimacy, sexuality, in preparing for an unforeseen future; in the building of community (you both have great natural gifts and capacities for friendship, as is evident today)--yes religious community, but also neighborhood, town, school, city, and a culture gradually amenable to faith. In Self-Control.

You will sense the warm breeze, the sunlit horizon, the abiding grace of God's Presence by its fruit (Galatians 5:22-3). Another Presence, of which you become aware, in your daily life together, by sensing the fruit of this presence. God's love abides in us and is made whole in us, through these marks, these footprints, these touches of grace.

Into Another Presence, into Another's Presence, we, your families, loved ones, and friends, now send you, married, from this day forward. With Ruth may you say: 'Whither thou goest I will go, whither thou lodgest I will lodge, thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God.'

Robert Allan Hill
Dean, Marsh Chapel

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