Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-7)
You are the light of the world – like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden… let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. (Matthew 5: 14,16)
At the weekend we attended a wedding conducted by a registrar. The words chosen by the bride and groom spoke sincerely of commitment, love and service to each other.
Being a registry wedding, there could be no reference to God, no prayers and no hymns. The parents of bride and groom nevertheless both have Christian faith.
We considered whether they might feel disappointed that their children had chosen not to have a church wedding. Within a loving relationship there is no coercion, merely encouragement and leading by example. But we thought that yes, both parents would be disappointed that their children have chosen not to invite God into their marriage.
God will be disappointed too. For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but shall have eternal life.
God has a plan and a purpose for each of us, but he will not force us to choose that plan. He gives everyone the choice to accept or reject his salvation, to obey or disobey his directions, and to follow or ignore the purpose for which they were created.
Just like parents, God is disappointed when his children turn away from what is good for them. But he never gives up hope, and constantly reaches out to us.
So we also must never give up hope, but must consistently set an example for others to appreciate and follow. Our love must never give up or lose faith.
May God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love, defend us on every side, and guide us in truth and peace;
And may the blessing of God be among us and among those whom we love, now and always.