It was a lovely wedding ceremony centered in a lovely converted dining room in a historic building located in an old historic town. I didn’t know the couple very well, I was asked to perform the service through a friend. Family and friends gathered, the room was decorated and everything was ready. I asked the couple to take a relationship survey and they scored extremely high. They were meant for each other, and very happy to be getting married. During the ceremony as they exchanged vows the bride wept so deeply touched and so very happy. Then they did a “sand ceremony” where each of them took a container of colorful sand and poured them together into a third container. It’s a beautiful symbol of two becoming one and a lasting memory of their ceremony.
I focused on a verse “God is love” found in the back of our Bibles in First John, chapter 4. In the love this couple has for each other, God resides. God loves us each and everyone and it does not matter what we have done or not done, said or not said. I often say in wedding homily’s that the great joy of relationships is that sorrow and problems are cut in half, and the good times, the joys are doubled! It’s important to have someone in our lives who can be that “sorrow carrier” and “joy doubler” for us! I hope and I pray that is the case for you today, that you have someone like this in your life.And I pray even more that you are this for someone else! Isn’t that why we have reunion groups? Isn’t this why we provide contact information for the team after the weekend? Let’s share a little “4th day” love with someone today!!!
And whether or not you have someone like that, God is like that for all of us. In fact, God is the great “sorrow eraser” and the “joy giver” in all things! Jesus said in the Gospel of Matthew 11:28 “Come to me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.” And in the Gospel of John Jesus said “I came that you might have my joy, not as the world gives, but as I give!” We have been joined together with Jesus through His life, death, and resurrection and now our hope, love, joy and peace remain in us forever. Feeling distant in your relationship to God? Check and see who moved!! And then, the very Good News of God, is that we are always allowed to come back. God’s Riches At Christs Expense (GRACE)! To be “re-married” again to the God of love in Jesus, who is with us always to the end, no matter what. To carry burdens and bring joy, and why can’t we be that for someone else today??
Pastor Doug Givan
St. Vincent’s Hospital Clay
Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.