There’s been two central themes to Courtney’s and my relationship: Colossians 1:17 and the William Fitzsimmons lyric that is tattooed on my right forearm that says, “Love can last if you only let it grow…”
As many of you may already know Courtney and I became Celebrants in the Sacramant of Holy Matrimony on Saturday May 21, 2011 at 1:30 in the afternoon. We are the chief celebrants of this Sacrament. We minister to one another in this Sacrament. The Book of Common Prayer’s Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage begins with this:
“Dearly beloved: We have come together in the presence of God to witness and bless the joining together of this man and this woman in Holy Matrimony. The bond and covenant of marriage was established by God in creation, and our Lord Jesus Christ adorned this manner of life by his presence and first miracle at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. It signifies to us the mystery of the union between Christ and his Church, and Holy Scripture commends it to be honored among all people.
The union of husband and wife in heart, body, and mind is intended by God for their mutual joy; for the help and comfort given one another in prosperity and adversity; and, when it is God’s will, for the procreation of children and their nurture in the knowledge and love of the Lord. Therefore marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”The Sacrament of Marriage is not something we have taken lightly or unadvisedly.
With the Sacrament of Marriage we become a little Trinity with Jesus Christ. It is He who brought us together and He that holds us together. Father David Garrett made a point that there’s human love and there’s God love. Our human love has brought us together, but it is God’s love that binds us to one another. Colossians 1:17 says, “He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
This verse was the key verse that Courtney and I discovered and decided to make the verse of Scripture that we build our marriage on. This verse is extremly powerful! The first point to me is that it speaks of the almight presence of Christ, that He is everlasting, everywhere! We can’t escape His presence. He is before all creation! He is the Word became FLESH! And it reminds me of the simple notion of letting God go ahead of you, following Him and letting Him guide.
The second point is that in Him ALL things hold together! Now, all things means all things right? That’s how we apply the principle here! That Jesus Christ is before us, leading us in our marriage, but that also He is IN our marriage, holding us together with the love of God that allowed the Word to become flesh.
The song lyric by William Fitzsimmons says, “Love can last if you only let it grow…”
This lyric is quite simple and it spoke profoundly to me. In highschool, Mr. Hertzog, one of the Mt. Mission teachers, told us in 8th grade that he never understood why people say they “fell in love”. He said that sounds like it was an accident and that you don’t fall in love, you GROW in love!
That and the notion that often times we simply don’t do things to let love grow. We smother it. We neglect it. We forget about it. We don’t care about it. Whatever the reason is the love begins to wither and fail, dying off.
Now, don’t get me wrong, marriage is HARD WORK AND YOU MUST WORK TO MAKE IT WORK! I fully understand that statement. I am not neglecting that you must put forth effort. But there’s such a thing as trying too hard!
I think we have to find balance and moderation. We just have to exist, to BE 🙂 We must put forth effort to love one another and grow, but we must not put forth too much effort that it is forced or that love becomes a something-I-have-to-do because you made that vow. I said to my bride that day, “In the Name of God, I, Jonathan, take you, Courtney, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”
I made a vow that I will keep by God’s help through the holding together of our marriage. He is our strong foundation. I made a vow to let love last if we only let it grow.
Proverbs tells us that a man is blessed and shown favor if he finds a wife. I have found my wife, my lady, my love.
I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead even though there will be times when the road is meandering and often times rocky, we know that we can make it because we have the love of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us.
Go forth with great rejoicing and remember that even though it may seem like love is hard that God is fully present in this Blessed Sacrament.
Remember that love can last if you only let it grow…
Most gracious God, we give you thanks for your tender love in sending Jesus Christ to come among us, to be born of a human mother, and to make the way of the cross to be the way of life. We thank you, also, for consecrating the union of man and woman in his Name. By the power of your Holy Spirit, your out the abundance of your blessing upon this man and this woman. Defend them from every enemy. Lead them into all peace. Let their love for each other be a seal upon their hearts, a mantle about their shoulders, and a crown upon their foreheads. Bless them in their work and in their companionship; in their sleeping and in their waking; in their joys and in their sorrows; in their life and in their death. Finally, in your mercy, bring them to that table where your saints feast for ever in your heavenly home; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.