Last week I had the privilege of officiating at a beautiful wedding for Kevin & Kelsey (Wray) Segler in Napa Valley, California. The wedding was held at the Mario Andretti Winery, and the setting was truly spectacular.
I shared a few reflections on marriage during the ceremony and decided to use these for my article this week.
St. Paul in his First Letter to the Corinthians 13:4-8
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
God in Christ created us in love and for love. Love for God, love for others, and love for self—in that order. Unfortunately, sin entered our world and caused separation and injury. We quickly unraveled and ended up loving “self” first, others next, and God last. Christ became flesh and sacrificed Himself in order to restore what was lost through sin. In Christ we are forgiven, made new, “born-again” and reunited to our Creator. Faith in Christ restores us!
In marriage, we find ample opportunity to grow into the beautiful image of God we were created to bear. Indwelt by God’s Spirit, we learn how to deny ourselves, pick up our cross, and follow Christ into abundant living and devoted relationship. We grow to love like God loves—by helping, by serving, by giving and by forgiving.
In Christ, we enjoy a one-flesh companionship that bears each other’s burdens and shares each other’s joys. Even when we fall—and fall we do—in Christ we rise again, and with God’s grace we continue our long and meaningfully journey in doing what is right and walking together in the right direction. In Christ we are reconciled, we are made whole, and we are equipped to love, to honor, and to cherish the soul-mate God has given us. We become one.
Faith in Christ allows God’s love to be poured into our hearts so we can become lovers—life-long lovers who are tender, passionate, strong and true. For such love God made us and for such love I pray for Kevin and Kelsey and for every married couple.
Reach the Rev. David Player, First United Methodist Church senior pastor, at 580-482-0795 or firstname.lastname@example.org.