Scripture Reading: Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you for ever.
Your throne, O God, endures for ever and ever.
Your royal sceptre is a sceptre of equity;
you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
This is a Psalm for a wedding. It certainly has that feel. Where everyone and everything is just perfect and only goodness is celebrated. I suppose it is appropriate for a wedding, but my experience of being in several weddings is they rarely are every this perfect and it is often the imperfections that are remembered with humor at the couples 50th wedding anniversaries. The groom dropped the ring, one of the bridesmaids fainted, or Uncle Charlie got caught in traffic and did not arrive in time to give the bride away. Love is patient, love is kind.
The church is sometimes described as the bride of Christ and while we the church work really hard at perfection and goodness, our daily quest toward Christ’s call is usually fraught with do overs and second chances. My church will celebrate its 85th anniversary next year. We have endured fires and floods, high wind and hail. I do not know if the founders ever dreamed that the church they started in a growing suburban area in 1931 would now be serving a diverse uptown inner city area. The courage and vision it took for those founders to start a church in the clutches of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl in Oklahoma still flows through our veins today. The challenges are different. The elementary school we serve has a student body who are 97% eligible for free lunches and come from families that speak 17 different languages or dialects. They are our neighbors and we love them. God is patient, God is kind.
Prayer: Lord, give us the courage of our ancestors in faith to not only take the love of God to the ends of the earth but to share it with our neighbors right here at home, too. Amen.