Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wedding of Sara Lemke and Kody Backman


June 20, 2009

Colossians 3.12-17

I am very happy to be a part of this celebration today And it truly is a celebration. Today we have two reasons to celebrate.

First, we at St. Stephen’s are celebrating, because Sara and Kody’s wedding is the first St. Stephen’s wedding in 13 years. Now, for a moment, just take that in. This is the first St. Stephen’s wedding since May 25, 1996. 1996. Poor Samantha [Sara’s daughter] was born in 1999. She can’t even comprehend such a year as 1996. Now just when you’ve taken that in, let’s add one more aspect to all of this: that wedding in 1996, wasn’t even held here. In the fact, the last time a bride and groom actually stood here, inside this church, right here where Sara and Kody are standing, was December 4, 1993.

Now, I don’t know what kind of magic this wedding of Sara and Kody is generating, but, I have to tell you…the drought is over. The dams have broken. Because we have *deep sigh* three more weddings scheduled this summer. So, these two must be doing something right.

The second reason we are celebrating today is because… three people fell in love. We are celebrating today this strange thing—this ephemeral, elusive thing that we all call love. Now some of us are probably going to roll our eyes. Oh, no, you might be thinking. He’s gonna talk about love now. Yes, I am. Because, it is love we are celebrating today. Love is this thing we just can’t quite put our fingers on. It’s wonderful and kind of horrible all at once. It makes us ecstatically happy one minute and wild-eyed crazy the next. It’s glorious and gut-wrenching all at the same time. And yet, we can’t live without it. It sustains us—like food or water. It gives us purpose and meaning. And, as Sara and Kody and Samantha will tell you, it renews. It revitalizes. It gives us a reason to hope again. It gives us a reason to get up in the morning and face what otherwise might seem like a insurmountable day. And as much we want to control it and force it to do what we want it do, love doesn’t work that way. Love comes into our life when we least expect it—and sometimes when we least want it. And when it does, we are never the same again.

That is what we are celebrating today. That is what we see happening before us in these people before us.

I am so happy, Sara and Kody, that your wedding is the wedding that breaks that drought of weddings here at St. Stephen’s.I say that now, but probably by the fourth wedding I will no doubt be cursing you quietly to myself for unleashing this flood of wedding energy. But I am truly happy that your wedding is the first wedding here in a long time. I am happy that your wedding is a kind new birth here. Because who knows better than you what renewal is, what rebirth is. Who knows better than you what love can do? Who knows better than you the transforming power of love?

So, rejoice in this love you have for each other. Celebrate this love in your lives fully. Hold this love close to you and never let it wiggle away, never let it grow stale, never let it fizzle. Renew it, rejoice in it, revel in it. As we heard in our reading from Colossians, “clothe yourself in love, which binds everything together.” And let that peace of Christ rule completely and fully in your hearts as well. Sara and Kody, your love is a blessing—and not just each to other, but to all of us who are fortunate enough to share in this love with you. So, with you today, we are celebrating. With you, our hearts are singing as well. And it is a joyful moment for all of us.

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