“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...and be thankful”
Colossians chapter 3 verse 15
Four life-events in two weeks were all ordered and blessed with emotions ranging from sadness to wonder woven through with joy.
A friend’s marriage in the Highlands, uniting a soldier with a brewer’s daughter gave me the opportunity to preach to a mixed congregation of Roman Catholics, Presbyterians and Agnostics and dance the night away in Scottish Reels.
The following weekend I conducted a service in the City of London for the wedding of a financier, son of my school friend of over 50 years, to a materials designer. Unused to religion this congregation was strangely moved by glorious anthems and the peace of a millennium-old church building.
Then the death of my mother in her 99th year peacefully after a brief illness brought tears that were wiped away easily with deep gratitude for nearly a century of love and service, undergirded by prayer and good humour. She instructed there to be only Alleluia’s at her funeral.
Finally a card arrived at Bishop’s Croft announcing the birth of a second child to one of my goddaughters. She had navigated the break up of her parents’ relationship and has been gifted with a marriage of commitment and joy.
These common way-points of human experience have been opportunities to experience once again the creative love of God, to be drawn into shared emotions and to offer the invitation of Jesus to follow him in the spirit of the couples’ promises “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health”.
My mother was blessed with a loving marriage of 57 years. Let us pray for young couples that they too will respond to the Lord Jesus Christ, nurture their lives together, take responsibility for raising children and serve others in the community and workplace.