Friday, January 17, 2020
SEVENTEEN ON THE 17TH
On a frigid cold January night, 01/17/2003, in olde city Philadelphia, riding in a horse-drawn carriaqe, my love and I were married. The horse's name was Moses; the driver's name was Sarah. Our best person was also named Sarah, but went by Sally. She was not only a good friend but a musician extraordinaire. In the sound of her music played on a recorder, the pastor announced us as husband and wife, wife and husband.
The carriage ride was for an hour and we sang along to beloved hymns and songs. It was a magical night filled with love, faith, hope, and celebration.
So, now seventeen years later, here on 01/17/2020, we have found that the customary gift for this seventeenth anniversary is noted as wine or spirits.
I cannot help but think of another wedding, the one which John the Evangelist shares in his Gospel, Chapter 2, verses 1-11.
Three days later, there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, was there. Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration. At a certain point, the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no wine.” Jesus replied, “Mother, what does that have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” She instructed those waiting on tables, “Do whatever he tells you.” As prescribed for Jewish ceremonial washings, there were six stone water jars on hand, each one holding between fifteen and twenty-five gallons. “Fill those jars with water,” Jesus said, and the servers filled them to the brim. “Now,” said Jesus, “draw some out and take it to the caterer.” They did as they were instructed. The caterer tasted the water—which had been turned into wine—without knowing where it had come from; the only ones who knew were those who were waiting on tables, since they had drawn the water. The caterer called the bride and groom over and remarked, “People usually serve the best wine first; then, when the guests have been drinking a while, a lesser vintage is served. What you’ve done is to keep the best wine until now!” Jesus performed this first of his signs at Cana in Galilee; in this way he revealed his glory, and the disciples believed in him.
We thank you, Holy God, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One, that you ordain the joining together of persons in marriage.
Our spouse, with whom we share our days, brings so much to our life that embrace us with blessings.
In them there is sameness and diversity.
With them there is sharing and caring.
By them we are a family who share a name and a place.
Through them we learn about ourselves and find you.
Beside them we follow you and your will for all life.
Because of them our world is bigger and grander.
May our love continue to grow.
May your presence in our shared life continue to bring wisdom, compassion, and mercy.
And, may our days be long and filled with the love that you alone make possible.
Blessed are You and blessed is your Kin-Dom forevermore.