Saturday, July 18, 2015

Deep-Rooted Love

The Wedding of Kristin Elizabeth Korsgaard and Michael Chang
July 18, 2015

Song of Solomon 2:10-13; 8:6-7
1 Corinthians 13:1-13
John 15:9-12

Deep-Rooted Love
            What a day! What a beautiful day!
            What a joy to celebrate the marriage of Kristin and Michael!
            What a gift to witness the love they share with each other – the love that has brought us all together today.
            You won’t be surprised to know that I go to a lot of weddings.
            I’m always glad when couples get in touch with me to let me know that they want to get married and ask me to be the officiant.
            It’s always so moving to see the hope and excitement of these couples as they step bravely into the future, courageous enough to make a lifelong commitment to each other.
            I always insist on a few sessions of pre-marital counseling with me in an effort to look at whatever issues a couple might have – to give them the chance to deal with these things before they get married.
            No surprise, some couples have some real issues – problems with communication, very different visions of the future, financial disagreements, families that don’t get along...
            We try to work through them as best we can but, I’ll admit, sometimes I find myself at weddings with some real doubts – with some red flags flying – but, of course, praying and hoping for the best.
            And then, there’s these two.
            Kristin and Mike.
            I had the usual premarital counseling sessions with them and, while I won’t say that these meetings were boring or a waste of time – how could spending time with Kristin and Mike be boring or a waste? – the truth is that after just a few minutes I saw what you all see and what you all know: how at ease they are with each other – how they are on the same page about everything that really matters.
            Although I still made them meet with me a few times – just in case - after only a few minutes it was clear to me that they are ready – they’ve been ready - they are ready to make a lifelong commitment of love to one another.
            You all agree, right?
            No, today my only real concern is that I have to stand between these two who are both taller than I am!
            It’s obvious that Kristin and Mike share a rich and deep love.
            It’s a love that is God’s greatest gift.
            It’s a love that began as friendship – an easy friendship among a large group of Madison friends – many of whom who are here today.
            It’s a love that was nurtured and shaped by the love that Mike and Kristin received and witnessed in their own strong and nurturing families – the love and devotion of parents and grandparents.
            And, it’s a love that truly began to take root during a time of great suffering and grief – in the days and weeks and months after the terribly sad death of Beth, whose loving and joyful presence I know so many of us feel here today.
            As St. Paul writes, “Love never ends.”
            And, so the love that began in a time of grief has now taken deep, deep root and become the obvious and beautiful and never-ending love - God’s greatest gift -that we celebrate here today.
            Now, we’ve already agreed that these two are as solid as they come but we also know that in every life and in every marriage there are challenges, fears, disappointments, and grief.
            Even the most deep-rooted love can be bent and cracked by the storms of life.
            So, you and I – we’re here to celebrate and to bless and to have a good time but we’re also here to make an important promise of our own – a promise to support of Kristin and Mike in their married life, no matter what.
            So, yes, I go to a lot of weddings.
            But, it’s rare to celebrate with a couple whose love truly is so deep-rooted – Kristin and Mike, a couple whose love is so obvious – Kristin and Mike, a couple whose love is such a clear and powerful and beautiful sign of God’s love for us all.
            What a day!
            What a beautiful day!