Sunday, August 5, 2012

For Bill and Peg Ghrist

Renewal of Marriage Vows
August 5, 2012


Bill and Peg: what a wonderful day, and thank you so much for sharing your anniversary with us.  It is very much a gift and an honor and a joy to be here with you this afternoon.  

Recalling that summer Sunday, August 2, 1987, when your St. Andrew’s family joined with your family and friends to witness and bless with much love the exchange of promises and vows and the blessing to consecrate your union as husband and wife.

I don’t know exactly how Ralph conducted the ceremony, but I think it is likely that as on page 425 in the Prayer Book Order for Marriage he addressed the congregation to say, “will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?”  And that as we have said today, the whole congregation would have responded, “We will.”

Twenty five years later, and I do pray that over these years we all of us, those who were here on that day and those who have arrived in the interval since, have by our shared life in this Christian family been able to be faithful in that promise.  As we have been and are a community of prayer, of conversation and discussion and discernment, of learning, of friendship and support, of outreach and service and Christian witness in the wider neighborhood and city and world.

But what I do know and what I do want to share with you is that as we have prayed for God’s blessing for you in your lives together, you have been truly a blessing for us, and are and continue to be.  The life that you share, your care and love and respect and friendship  and tenderness for one another, overflows and fills all of our lives.  You have been and are and continue to be a gift of encouragement and grace for us, as you every day inspire us to the great calling of Christian life.

So thank you for that.  Thank you for the reading from Colossians, which I always think to be not only perfect for a wedding, but simply as a word about the character of our life in Jesus Christ, as we follow him and are formed and reformed in his image.  “Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.  Bear with one another.  Forgive.  And above all, clothe yourselves in love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts.”

You are a blessing, and it is with joy and love that we pray God’s continued blessing on your marriage, and on the life we share with you together.

No comments: