+ 1 Corinthians 13:4, 13 Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant… And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
Today, we are all preparing to spring forward.
At 2am, after the last piece of wedding cake has been swallowed…
After the last click of the photo booth has been clicked…
After Shawna and Jeff say: Goodnight Husband, Goodnight wife… we will all spring forward by one hour. It is daylight savings time.
Infants will lose their routines. Church goers will groan as the alarm rings tomorrow, spring-breakers will lament that this week- of all weeks- will have one less hour. Today, we prepare to spring forward.
For over 100 years, we have officially adjusted our schedules and our clocks once in the spring, and once in the fall.
Before we get lost in our griping and worry over this practice, we must remember why we will all adjust our clocks at 2am.
We do this for one reason only: To grasp more light.
Starting tomorrow, we will each be blessed with more sunshine throughout the afternoon.
Starting tomorrow, we will all receive a brighter evening commute. We will soak in more warmth through our windows as the day goes on.
Since the beginning of time- people around the world have engaged in a quest for more light. In ancient cultures, before we wore watches or listened to the chimes of grandfather clocks– people would build their days around the pursuit of more light. In Babylon and Egypt and ancient Rome- as civilizations began to measure time through sundials and water clocks in the 16th century BC– these first time-measuring instruments had different scales for different months of the year.
We humans have always searched for more light, and we have also searched for love. In fact, I believe, at the very core of the human soul- we are all wired with the desire for more light, and more love. Our scripture reading for today captures the essence of that which we long for: love is patient, love is kind… Jeff and Shawna chose a familiar scripture about love to mark this beautiful occasion. Deep down, we all know this scripture: Love is patient, love is kind… love is playful, love is sweet, love is courageous.
We didn’t read it that way-but starting today, this is what will be written. We have all come together in this chapel to celebrate Jeff and Shawna as they continue to write the story of love. Love is patient, love is kind… love is baking a pecan pie the first time you meet the parents…
Last night, Shawna’s mother pulled me aside and said: ‘Jeff baked me a pie, you know.’ Jeff and Shawna shared a Thanksgiving meal with her parents in the early stages of their courtship, and on that day- they continued to write this story: love is baking a pecan pie for Thanksgiving.
Love is dancing on the altar at your wedding rehearsal and in the middle of your living room when the Peanuts theme song comes on… in fact love is dancing every chance you get. If you watch these two carefully- it won’t be long before you see them break into dancing- at a concert, a party, or on the altar as they rehearse their wedding vows- Jeff and Shawna continue to write this story: love is spontaneous joyful dancing.
Love is enduring a kayak float together- even if kayaks invoke fears from the past. There once was a very tall man named Jeff who tried to kayak down the river with his friends. He fell, he flipped, he crashed, he rolled, he cursed, he fell, he flipped he crashed… That is the story of one of the worst days of Jeff’s life… and a few weeks later- he fell in love with an avid kayaker. Even after surviving one of the worst float trips of all time, Jeff jumped into a kayak again with Shawna as they continued to write this story: love is having the courage to kayak again.
Love is saying yes to this journey ahead, even if you’ve been hurt before. We are not witnessing the marriage of two foolish kids- unaware of what commitment means, unprepared for this sacred covenant. No, instead, we are all bearing witness to a courageous leap for two people who know what lies ahead. Jeff and Shawna both have encountered love before, they have endured loss. Today, they have said yes to one another- with eyes wide open. Jeff and Shawna are continuing the story of love. And We are all honored to witness their launch today.
As Jeff and Shawna began their story, we saw so many other stories unfolding around the world. Hurricane Irene battered the coast in the days before Jeff and Shawna connected. News channels reported tales of costly destruction and devastation. It was a dark time.
As Jeff and Shawna continued their courtship- stories of famine and draught political tensions swept through our communities. These reports cast a shadow on our daily broadcasts. We cannot open the newspaper or turn on the Television without hearing more about these dim stories.
So today, we must cling tightly to what we are witnessing here at Lindenwood Christian Church- because we watching new hope spring up between Jeff and Shawna. These two bright, motivated, passionate people are joining forces and their commitment will mark our community.
Together, Jeff and Shawna will work for justice and mercy.
Together, Jeff and Shawna will bring more compassion to their surroundings.
Together, Jeff and Shawna will remind us all that the world is still filled with joy and laughter and romance.
Love is patient, love is kind, Love is Jeff and Shawna on March 9th, vowing to love one another and stand by one anther from now until their last days.
If you have eyes to see, then you know that today is a blessing for all of us here. This is not just a wedding. This is not just a party with a fun photo booth waiting…
Today we have all received the gift of more light.
Jeff and Shawna- you are a light to this family, this church, this community and this world. Through your continuing story of love, you will teach us all that love wins, hope prevails, and the darkness will never overcome the light. All of us here, your cloud of witnesses, will spring forward with you today- rejoicing together in your love. Amen.