A couple of weeks ago I was in Charleston to officiate the wedding of my cousin Megan to her husband Matt. They are a wonderful couple, and even more importantly, a wonderful family with the addition of Matt’s two girls. Megan and Matt chose 1 Corinthians 13:1-7, 13 for their scripture. The sermon was inspired by the hand-made lace stole Megan’s family gave me at my ordination.
Megan and Matt, it is a joy to be here with you, and such an honor to be a part of your ceremony. Today is even more special to me because I am wearing the stole your family gave me at my ordination. Megan, your mom searched high and low for this stole, and I am now it’s second owner. This history makes me treasure it even more. In fact, this stole is one of my most prized possession. Much of what I own is just objects, things that can be replaced. This stole cannot be replaced. It was hand-knotted, woven through time, love, great skill and care. It also made me think of you all joining your lives together.
Please forgive me as I mix metaphors, and instead of talking about knotting lace, I want to talk about weaving your lives together. You each have a tapestry of your life that was started when you were born. It is woven together with many others- your friends and family- many of whom are here today. Matt and Megan, you all have been weaving your lives together for a number of years already, and we gather here today to recognize and bless that weaving. Let me give you a few suggestions of threads to include from our scripture.
First, weave in threads of patience. These are not flashy threads; they will not make people ooh and ahh over the beauty of your tapestry. But the threads of patience form the background and the base of your tapestry. They take a long time to weave in, but they undergird everything else. Be patient with each other. Take time for each other. Thing well of each other. If one loads the dishwasher incorrectly, simply be thankful that the dishwasher was loaded. Without the threads of patience, the other threads do not hold their shape. Be patient with each other.
Next, weave in threads of kindness. These are the threads that add accent and depth to your tapestry. And right now, this one is easy. You two are in the early years of love, when it’s a part of your rhythm to do the extra things to show love. Remember to do that always. Find the things that make each other happy and do them. Again and again. Even if it’s the same thing. Even when it’s hard and you might not feel like it. Because the kinder you are to each other, especially when it’s hard, the more beautiful your tapestry will be.
Next, weave in humbleness. Paul doesn’t come outright and say humble, but he gives us descriptions of how love acts that are humble. Threads of humbleness are not envious, or boastful, or arrogant or rude. When you are humble you do not insist on your own way; you do not rejoice in fault, but rejoice in truth. Once again, these threads are not flashy, but they are necessary. These are the horizontal threads, the ones that provide the framework to hold the rest of the tapestry together. Do not neglect these threads.
And finally, weave in love. Yes, all of the other threads are aspects of love, but weave in the strength of your love together, and especially the strength of your love with God. Here’s where you get to add the flashy parts to your tapestry, because nothing shines brighter than love. And know that when your love is from God and your love is in God and with God, nothing will be able to tear it apart.
Faith, hope, and love abide. And the greatest of these, the strongest of these, is love.