Wedding of Sebastian and Carlein

There are lots of things that make a marriage work. Some of them you will already know, some of them you may learn today, and many of them you will learn in the months and years to come.

But, as I don’t have a crystal ball and I can’t see into the future, we will have to make do with what today can teach about long and happy marriages.

Our reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians suggests some of the qualities you are to wear if your marriage is to be long and most importantly, happy. He says, ‘clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity’.

Love, the unifying factor, which makes everything perfect.

Part of what we are doing today, is praying for Sebastian and Carlein’s love. The love they have for each other, the love they have for God, and the love God has for them. Because we heard at the beginning of the service, that God is love, and those who live in love, lives in God and God lives in them. A simple line, until you start to think about it further.

God is love, and if he didn’t love us, we wouldn’t be able to love others.

God is love, and it’s love like God’s that we try to embody because his is a love that is perfect and eternal and will pass the test of time.

Sebastian and Carlein, we pray for you today, that you will grow in the love that you share, and that your love may be perfect like God’s love for you. And in the times when your love is tested, you will remember the words of St Paul, and you will find that your love is the kind described in our first reading from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin,

“Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two”.

Advertisements

All age – Blessed Virgin Mary

Have any of you ever been asked to do something, or go somewhere, but you really REALLY didn’t want to? (Take answers)

Clean your room, do the washing up, go to visit someone you didn’t like, have to go see family rather than play out with your friends, do your tax return, fill out paperwork, had to give up meeting friends to do work?

What do you do? What do you do when you really don’t want to do something? (Take answers)

You start making excuses

I’m too busy, I can’t, I don’t know how to, but they’re much cleverer, faster, better than me, they should do it!

We all do this from time to time, especially with the small stuff in life.

But, sometimes we’re asked to do something huge! Has anyone been asked to do anything huge and important? (Take answers)

Well, I have someone with me who was asked to do something very, VERY important. Can anyone remember our gospel reading, or guess at who I might have here who was asked to do something VERY important?

(Uncover statue)

MARY

Mary was given a very important task, what was Mary asked to do?

Be the Mother of Jesus.

This was HUGE. And would have been very difficult for her and others to understand and accept.

She wasn’t married.

She lived in the wrong side of town.

She was poor.

And she could have come up with LOADS of excuses for NOT being the Mother to Jesus.

I can’t, I’m planning my wedding.

I can’t, what would people think of me?

I can’t, what do I tell my parents?

I can’t, what do I tell Joseph? He’ll think I’ve been seeing someone else.

I can’t, I’m too poor to look after a baby.

I can’t, I’m too young to be a mother.

I can’t, I’m not important enough for God to be bothered with me!

But did she say any of these? (Take answers)

No. After she had spoken to the angel, she is so excited she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who is also expecting a baby. And she said something amazing. She said something so wonderful, that we repeat it every day in the cathedral. And in every cathedral, and in every church it is sung, and said and prayed.

And its known as the ‘Magnificat’ which is the first word of Mary’s praise in Latin.

It’s become for us, a song of joy, and has been set to music more times than I can count.

Because this girl who must have thought that she couldn’t, God did not say ‘she is just a girl’. God took Mary seriously, trusted her and put her to work. And when she believed she could do God’s work, it was the most joyful thing she had ever known. And so she said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour’  and she talks about what God has and will do for his people.

“I praise the Lord with all my heart.

    I am very happy because God is my Savior.

I am not important,

    but he has shown his care for me, his lowly servant.

From now until the end of time,

    people will remember how much God blessed me.

Yes, the Powerful One has done great things for me.

    His name is very holy.

He always gives mercy

    to those who worship him.

He reached out his arm and showed his power.

    He scattered those who are proud and think great things about themselves.

He brought down rulers from their thrones

    and raised up the humble people.

He filled the hungry with good things,

    but he sent the rich away with nothing.

God has helped Israel—the people he chose to serve him.

    He did not forget his promise to give us his mercy.

He has done what he promised to our ancestors,

    to Abraham and his children forever.”

Mary shows us what is possible when we say Yes. When we say Yes to God, wonderful things can happen. Even world changing things. And he doesn’t just use the clever or the important. He can use all of us.

So next time you’re asked to do something, think, am I going to make an excuse, or should I joyfully say yes, because there is the potential in all things for God to do his wonderful work.