A Wedding Homily
I Corinthians 13
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I Corinthians 13
Pastor Steven Molin
Don and Sara, on behalf of those who are standing beside you, and those family and friends who are seated behind you, I want to thank you for inviting us to be a part of this special day. We’re not here as if we are spectators at a football game; we are witnesses, fellow celebrants as today two become one. Thank you for sharing this day with us.
And to you who have come, it’s a bright fall day, and you have one hundred different things you could be doing, but you have chosen to be here. Thank you for coming; your presence is tribute to Don and Sara, and it is a gift to the Peterson and Moss families. And of course you are all invited to the reception that is to follow at Pine Point Lodge. We hope you will join us there.
Now, Don and Sara; I have to tell you how much I enjoyed getting to know you in our pre-marriage counseling sessions. Your honesty was refreshing, your love and respect for each other was obvious. During one of those sessions, I asked you a question that I ask every couple whose wedding I am going to officiate, and this was the question: Why have you chosen this one to be your life partner? With all of the available single men and women in this world, why this one? Do you recall what you said? Because I have the answers right here! I know I told you your answers were confidential…but I was just kidding! Here’s what you said.
Don, you said that Sara was beautiful, and smart, and confident, you love her independence, and you said that you enjoy the times and the conversations you share. And Sara, you said that Don is the most sensitive and caring man you have ever met. You love his sense of humor, you share his work ethic, you trust him and respect him, and you just know that he is going to be a great dad. Those are great reasons for choosing a partner.
But somebody has to tell you the truth! Don, someone has to tell you that Sara will not always be as beautiful and sweet and gracious as she is today. There will be bad-hair days! There will be days when she comes home from work after a bad day, and, while it’s not your fault, you will have a giant target on your chest. And Sara, someone has to tell you that Don picks his toes and picks his nose and doesn’t pick up his socks and underwear. In short, someone must tell you that there will be days that you will not like each other very much. When you get on one another’s nerves, when your patience wears thin, when you have hurt or when you have been hurt by your spouse, you won’t like them very much…but will you love them? That is a most important question. And sociologists tell us that romantic love decreases dramatically in the first two years of marriage. There must be something more, there must be something deeper than liking someone’s personality, or enjoying someone’s company. There must be something deeper than romantic love. And there is.
The scripture you have chosen today is a very familiar one at weddings today. Commonly called “the Love Chapter” it is the Apostle Paul’s description of the sacrificial love of Christian community. But the tension of relationships is still the same; there are times when we don’t like people in our church; we disagree with what they think, we are disappointed at what they do, but the words of Paul compels us to love them still. Our love is not dependent upon feelings or frustrations or agreement. Love is a choice, and today you are making that choice. I want to play with Paul’s words just for a moment, in order to provide for you a challenge, a call for you both to fulfill.
Imagine for a moment that this is what Paul has written to you:
• Don is patient and kind; he is not envious, he doesn’t brag about himself, he is not egotistical, nor is he ever rude.
• Sara is not an angry person, she’s not one to carry a grudge, she loves the truth. Sara hopes all things, believes all things, and endures all things.
It is our greatest wish for you – it is God’s greatest wish for you – that you would love each other in this way. That you would aspire to love one another with the love that Paul describes. And when one of you has been hurt by the other, you will still love. And when one of you has been disappointed by the other, you will still love. And when you find that your capacity to love has been spent, may it then be that God’s love flows through you. Because human love has its limits, but the love of God knows no bounds. And that’s the kind of love God wishes for us in family; a selfless, sacrificial and unconditional love…even when you don’t like.
Don and Sara, as you begin your lives as one today, we offer you our joyful encouragement. We will be your cheerleaders in the years ahead. But God will be your center, your source, your gift of love to one another. This is a promise! Amen.
• Copyright 2008, Steven Molin. Used by permission.