It's wedding season once more and love is in the air (which is great because I was getting tired of the 95% humidity that was previously in the air)!
Weddings are wonderfully fun events filled with family, friends, food, and dancing. Unbelievable amounts of money (an average wedding costing an estimated $26,522, to be exact) are spent to make the day perfect. The search for the perfect dress has garnered it's own form of TV shows. The perfect venue can sometimes be booked full years in advance, requiring couples to book it prior to even fully committing to an engagement. This doesn't include other details of perfection such as centerpieces, flowers, and music. With such a commitment to perfection its no wonder why weddings are so stressful and expensive! The challenge is that we sometimes transpose these superficial perfections onto the love that we gather to celebrate.
Almost every wedding I attend or preside at I cannot help be notice the way love is talked about in all of its perfections. “Isn't the couple prefect”? “It's too perfect how they're just always smiling together.” “Their children are going to be so beautiful and perfect.” The challenge is that we live in an imperfect world, filled with challenges and struggles, where divorce is a reality. This doesn't mean weddings are shams, but perhaps that weddings simply need to refocus on the only kind of love that is perfect, that of Jesus himself.
Jesus comes into the world and shares a deeply genuine kind of love. The kind of love that can celebrate, like at Cana where his miracle brings new life (through new wine) to the party. The kind of love that suffers on the cross to bring new life in the face of death.
As people of faith we participate in the perfect love of God through Christ. This has nothing to do with the flowers we choose or the things we do, but has everything to do with Jesus who dies that we may live. The best part about this gift is that we are given it to share with all people. Maybe that means our spouse whom we lift up in times of personal struggle. Maybe it's a fellow parishioner who we mourn with during a time of loss. Maybe its a stranger we don't know, but who glimpses this love through a simple act of kindness. The joy of wedding season is that it gets us talking about love's perfect. The challenge is that we remember love is only truly perfected in Christ, something we gather to celebrate weekly, but experience daily.
Pastor Zak Wagner