Saturday, May 20, 2017

Marriage of John Anderson and Jessica Pitzel

May 20, 2017
It is an honor for me to officiate at this service today. Both  Jessica and John are two people I consider close and very dear friends. I am very grateful for their friendship in my life.  And nothing gives me more delight than to see close and dear friends celebrate the love they have for each other.
Today is a glorious day. It really is.  But, as most of us know, this day—this wonderful, beautiful day—has not come easily for John and Jessica. It has been a sometimes long, hard and painful road for both of them. There has been much pain in their past.  There has been much heartache. There is been loss. There have been dark clouds and even darker nights.  It has been, at times, a very hard journey in their past for both of them.
They come here today with scars and wounds, as we all do. They will be quick to tell you, no doubt, that we do not make it through this life without wounds and scars.  Which only makes this day even more wonderful, even more glorious.
What we celebrate today is love, yes. The love between Jessica and John and the love we have for them.
But we celebrate so much more today as well. We celebrate the fact that this marriage is a shining example of resurrection, of the dawn that comes after the darkest night.
This marriage is one of the best examples of grace. Now, my definition of grace is this: it is a gift from God we receive that we did not ask for. It is a gift we cannot give ourselves. We cannot control grace. We cannot manipulate it or make it do what we want it to do.
Grace happens. God grants grace in its own time. In its own place. And we must simply be open to it, and be thankful for it, and just… let it happen in our lives. And be very, very thankful to God when it does.
Jessica. John. What we celebrate today is truly a grace.  I am so thankful for this grace you have been given by God. I mean, look at this: You have known each other for thirty years? Thirty years! And here you are! Today! On this glorious day! It’s amazing! And if we are not amazed by this amazing coming-together of Jessica and John after all this time, we are just not paying attention.
Yes, you’ve been through a lot in your lives. But, look! Here you are today! And it’s all good. And it’s all beautiful.
You both deserve today. You both deserve this love, this surrounding by people who love you, this grace in your life. You deserve the very best in your lives.
That is what we celebrate today. That is what we give thanks for  today.
Now, mind you, I’m not promising that the future is going to be hunky dory and sweet all the time. You both know that it isn’t always going to be like that.  I’m not promising that all the dark clouds have passed away for good.
But right now, right here, none of that matters. There are no dark clouds here. There are only blue skies and a future filled with hope and potential joy.
I am so happy, John and Jessica, for this day. I am so thankful to God that you have found each other again. I am so happy for you and for all that you have and will have. It really is wonderful!

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