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Getting married for the forty-third time

by davesandel on August 19th, 2021

Thursday, August 19, 2021                            (today’s lectionary)

Gettting married for the forty-third time

I asked Jasper if he wanted to watch our forty-third annual wedding ceremony. As he usually does (except when he says no), he said, “Yes.”

Here we are, Lord, we come to do your will.

We were married at Mt. Pulaski Christian Church in 1979, then again in spirit every year since. August 19, 2021 marks our forty-third “wedding,” and the forty-second anniversary of our wedding. I think we kind of have it down by now. Today Margaret will spend our original wedding hour at cardiac rehab, and I’ll run errands. But before or after, perhaps we can break out the old dusty vows and try them on again.

I, David, take you, Margaret,

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;

as God is my witness,

I give you my promise.

 

I, Margaret, take you, David,

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;

as God is my witness,

I give you my promise.

We haven’t shared these vows with each other often, but this year seems like a good time to say them again out loud. They matter more, after so many years. And so much has happened in the last few months. We weren’t quite sure we’d get to this day together.

The wedding feast is ready. Go out into the town and invite whomever you find. The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they had found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests.

I love that today’s lectionary reading remarks upon our wedding. We had a potluck in the church basement after our ceremony at the end of Sunday morning’s service. The friends and family we invited mostly showed up. The prince’s wedding was different, but I think of the “bad and good alike” who filled the hall as experiences we’ve had over our four decades. Celebrating this year, we recall stories from our life together that we haven’t seen in a long time. So often we came too close to falling away from each other, and now nothing seems to phase us, at least not for long.

And what about that guy without any wedding clothes, the man who seemed confident of the king’s welcome but had done nothing to prepare for it? I sometimes feel like that man. The joy of my salvation (along with my selfish laziness) sometimes convinces me that I can live without discipline or conscience, that God’s love will swallow whole all my sin. That attitude stinks, though, I know it does.

My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment? And the man was reduced to silence.

Shame and silence. That’s not how I want to start my life after life, the next chapter of my eternal life, my life with Jesus, my life with my Father, no it’s not. And I know Margaret feels the same way. So at least in our minds, we’ll put on some finery today, so the king will be pleased to see us. And we can admire each other, too, and smile.

(Judges 11, Psalm 40, Psalm 95, Matthew 22)

(posted at www.davesandel.net)

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