Jesus is on a mountain, overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
He is blessing people – all sorts of people. (Matthew 5:1-10)
People who when you look at them – poor, hungry, mourning – Do not seem particularly blessed.
Yet Jesus sees things differently, Jesus sees them differently, Jesus sees us differently than we ever see ourselves.
Since we made plans to be here this morning it has been quite a ride for the two of you and all those you love, and all those who love you.
Not unlike the unlikely love story of Tobias and Sarah (Tobit: 8:5-8) from which we get a snippet of their tale this morning: his father is blind and wants to die, Sarah has lost seven husbands and wants to die, Tobias, led by God’s angel Raphael is off on an adventure that will change everyone’s life. It all seems doomed from the start, and yet, there is the happy ending – “and they slept through the night!” Signifying that God really does care about us. God really does get involved in our lives. God will provide a way.
Neither of you ever lost sight of this simple truth – this basic act of what we call faith. And now you are blessed.
Blessed to enter into the kind of life St Paul outlines for all who choose to be active members of the Body of Christ – a live of patience, forgiveness, kindness, compassion, with grateful hearts, singing psalms and hymns, and whatever you do, in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for each and every moment of each and every day. (Colossians 3:12-17)
You are truly blessed. Everyone here this morning has already agreed to do all in their power to support the two of you in your marriage. Not a little of what’s in their power, not what they feel like, not what they think they can afford to do, but all that is in their power – such is their love for you.
Right now, you stand before us as a sign of God’s love for a sinful and broken world. You are a sign of what Love looks like. Turn around for just a moment before exchanging vows, and look out on all those of us who are committing ourselves to do all in our power to support you. Because this is what Love looks like! A roomful of blessed people standing beside you on this most auspicious occasion!
We are here to witness and to bless you both as you become no longer two but one – one in the love of Christ.
And of course there is one final blessing for you and for us all. Your beloved Sissy, Connie, your sister, gives you this day, the day of her birth, as the day that you begin the rest of your life together as husband and wife.
We come from Love, we return to Love, and Love is all around. You surrounded her with God's love every day of her earthly pilgrimage. She now resides in the very heart of God’s eternal love, sending her blessings upon you both. As the psalmist sings, "May you live to see your children’s children, may Peace forever be upon you and your household!" (Psalm 128)