Saturday, January 09, 2016

A Glimpse of the Kingdom

St. Paul’s Church in Bergen, Jersey City
January 9, 2016

The Wedding of Adam Krieg and Katie Lynch
Isaiah 32:2, 16-18

A Glimpse of the Kingdom
            Well, this is a great day, right?
            What a joy to be here in this beautiful place today celebrating with all of you, celebrating the union of Adam and Katie.
            I have to say I’m especially excited to be here today.
            I was very honored that Katie and Adam asked me to officiate at their wedding – and they assure me that it’s not only because of the super-convenience of having my church right next door to where they live.
            Though there’s that.
            It’s been a joy to help prepare Adam and Katie for today and for married life beyond – it’s been a gift to become friends.
            When we started I didn’t really know them well. We had had a few conversations, mostly outside when one or both were walking their beautiful dog, Teddy.
            But, over these past few months as we’ve prepared and talked I’ve learned what I bet you’ve all known for a long time:
            These are two truly exceptional people – deeply caring, whip smart, a perfect fit for each other – both kind of quiet, very thoughtful, very what the kids call “chill.”
            How fortunate for us to know them and to love them, right?
            What a blessing.
            Now, I don’t know, but maybe there are some of you here today who might be thinking, well, you know, it’s about time – it’s about time that these two who have been together for so long, who obviously love each other so much, are finally making this big commitment to each other, finally tying the knot.
            And, believe me, I certainly understand impatience.
            In a way, our whole society is based on impatience – the need for everything to get done ever faster – the impatience and demand for ever-greater efficiency and multi-tasking that’s making us all a little crazy, I think.
            But, that’s not God’s way.
            God has all the time in the world so there’s no rush at all.
            And, throughout the Old and New Testaments there is a vision of a restored creation, of the world finally being set right again, of God’s kingdom being established on earth – a vision of us living the kind of lives that we were always meant to live.
            We heard a piece of that vision in today’s reading from the Prophet Isaiah – a typically unconventional choice by Katie and Adam.
            Isaiah presents this beautiful vision of God’s kingdom:v
            “Then justice will dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness abide in the fruitful field. The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust for ever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places.”
            It’s a beautiful vision, isn’t it?
            Of course, I don’t have to tell you that in our broken world scarred by poverty, injustice, fear, and violence, we are nowhere near the kingdom described by Isaiah.
            God takes God’s time – and seems, at least so far, willing to give us time to work with God to build God’s kingdom on earth.
            But – and here’s the thing – as we take our time God gives us glimpses – gives us glimpses of God’s kingdom – glimpses of the way things were always meant to be – glimpses that inspire us and encourage us to keep going – to keep working with God to build the kingdom.
            I hope you’ve seen those kinds of glimpses in your life – holding the hand of the one you love, getting help from someone even though they know you can never repay them, receiving forgiveness for what you thought was unforgivable, looking into the eyes of your child for the first time…
            I hope you’ve seen glimpses of God’s kingdom in your life – but I know you’ve gotten at least one glimpse of God’s kingdom because you’ve seen, you’ve known, you love Adam and Katie.
            When we look at the life and love they share – while imperfect like everything human – we get a glimpse of the Kingdom of God.
            And, I have no doubt that when they welcome new life into the world, we will get even more glimpses of the way things were always meant to be, thanks to the love shared by this beautiful family.
            So, today we celebrate.
            Today we promise to support Katie and Adam, no matter what.
            And, today we all get a truly beautiful glimpse of God’s kingdom.
            What a great day.