Saturday, August 25, 2007

Wedding Message

I don't think I've ever posted a wedding homily here before, so here's my latest:


Wedding Message for Robert and Tanya

Pastor Eric Lemonholm

Lessons: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

I Corinthians 12:31-13:13

What a beautiful day for a wedding.

What a beautiful day to celebrate the joining together of two beloved friends.

Bob and Tanya’s love for each other is a gift from God.

Their relationship is a gift.

Today, Bob and Tanya are sealing their love with a lifelong commitment.

We are all witnesses of the bond Tanya and Bob are making today.

We also bear witness that God blesses this couple and their marriage today and for as long as they both shall live.

Most of you have heard Paul’s words about love from 1st Corinthians 13 at other weddings.

Love is so important – the most important force in the universe.

The Bible tells us that “God is love.”

Love is not just a feeling we have. We do feel love. But feelings come and go.

Love is more than a feeling. It is action and commitment.

We show our love by what we do, by how we act toward others – not just once but every day for a lifetime.

Paul tells us some things that we do when we truly love.

We are patient and kind.

We are not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

We do not insist on our own way; we are not irritable or resentful; we do not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoice in the truth.

We bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.

True love never ends. Never.

Prophecies about the future will pass away.

Knowledge will cease.

A lot of things that we think are important will end.

But love will remain.

Our faith in God will become sight, the lived experience of being in God’s presence in God’s kingdom forever.

Our hope for the future will be fulfilled by the God of hope.

Both faith and hope will be made perfect in love.

Love will never end. That’s the message of the good news of Jesus. Jesus shows us God’s heart of love and mercy, by living for us, dying for us, and rising from the dead for us and all creation.

Today, we celebrate love, the true love between Bob and Tanya.

Each of them will experience a little of God’s love through each another and the love that binds them together.

Listen again to the reading from Ecclesiastes 4...

Two are better than one... And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Today, Tanya and Robert are two people, joined together from this day forward. And, together they are stronger than they could ever be alone, because of the love of God that binds them and strengthens them. Amen.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Reply to David

Here is a comment I tried to post to David's reply to my August 5 sermon (blogger wouldn't let me post it):

Thank you, David. Perhaps our challenge as Christian leaders is to give people good compelling reasons to give. I remember, as a child, my grandfather giving $1 each Sunday at church. It was also what he always left as a tip. I think that, at some point, it was a generous offering and tip, but by the 80's we (my family) would have to sneak back the table at a restaurant and supplement his dollar.

Here's something I wrote in the latest sermon, and I can't remember where I read it, but I read it somewhere last week:

Christian thinker Ron Sider has figured out that if all the Christians in the USA alone were to tithe – give 10% of our income – we could provide basic nutrition and healthcare to all the poor in the world, and have about $70 billion left over each year.

How differently the Third World would see the USA if it was our priority to save life rather than to take it! The best way to store up treasure in heaven is to give our earthly treasure to people in need. As St. Augustine said, the bellies of the poor are the best storerooms for our extra grain.