Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Friday, September 17, 2021

The Marriage of Maureen and Stephen

The Marriage of Maureen and Stephen
Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
Song of Solomon 2:14-17
John 2:1-11

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

For the past couple years, church weddings have been kind of rare around here.  In fact, this is the first wedding I’ve ever done during a global pandemic.  But that’s not the most unusual thing about this wedding.  

Mo and Stephen originally wanted to get married on May 1st . . . because, you know, Beltane.  But then, decided to move it to today, the Feast Day of Hildegard of Bingen.  We had discussed using the optional version of the vows where they each would promise, “And thereto I plight thee my troth.”  The original descriptions of the participants in this wedding was . . . interesting.  Stephen asked if one of the readings could be from the book of Job!  And, let’s not forget the processional music from Star Wars.

And with all that is so unusual about this wedding, they went and picked the most obvious gospel reading possible: since this is a wedding, let’s have a story about a wedding.  That story you just heard is not one of the suggested readings for a wedding, so that is unusual.  That story doesn’t tell us about how two people are supposed to love each other, or tell us that they are a shining city on a hill, or that the two will become one.  That reading we just heard is more like a party trick that happens at a wedding.  It is a wedding reading in the same way that “Die Hard” is a Christmas movie.

Where is the love?  Where is the lifelong commitment?  In that story from the wedding at Cana, who exactly is getting married?  We don’t even know their names!  There is nothing in there about the couple getting married.  There’s just Jesus, and his mother Mary, and a couple of large containers of water that get turned into something else.  So . . . let’s talk about those containers of water.

When you think about it, turning water into wine isn’t that unusual.  I mean, wine is made of water, for the most part.  It’s not like Jesus took the water and turned it into a pick-up truck, or something.  But Jesus takes what is already there, ordinary water, and turns it into something magnificent.  In the presence of Jesus, plain old water is transformed into the best wine the people have ever tasted.  At the very time of the reception when people would be expecting the worst wine, they get the best wine imaginable.  Which is where we get the phrase, saving the best for last.

Which leads me to Maureen and Stephen.  Today, we have all gathered together to bear witness to the two of you being joined in Holy Matrimony.  Like those stone jars in the story, you have been filled to the brim with expectation, and we all wait with bated breath, wondering what Jesus will do on this wedding today.  As the jars were filled up with water, you have been filled up with love, waiting for this most blessed wedding day.  In joining together in the Holy Rite of Marriage, your love will be transformed into something even more beautiful: a blessing to all of us, and to the world, reminding us that in the presence of Jesus, what seems ordinary becomes extraordinary.  This is not an unusual day at all; no, this is an extraordinary day.  And we wish you every happiness, this day, and all the days to come.


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