by Marion Clark

Wedding Homily
Marion Clark
1 Corinthians 13:1-13

C and W, thirty years ago W's parents stood in front of me to be united in marriage. This passage was read then. I cannot remember the homily, but we will trust it was good. It is actually not a passage about marriage. The apostle Paul was writing to a church that had become conceited and divided, and so he penned these words to remind them what really matters in a church family. Now, thirty years older and nearly forty years into marriage, I see easily the application to marriage.

Those first three verses of ''ifs'': if I can do impressive, even sacrificial things in life, no matter what they are, they come to nothing if I lack love. This love is not the type of love that has brought you here. You are here because you have found someone who makes you feel loved, someone you expect to always make you happy. That's a good reason to marry, but it, over time, will not be the love that will keep you married. Routine will set in, pressures both outside and inside will occur, children hopefully will be added-they all serve to drain the happy love feelings. What matters is that this love- agapé love-grows.

This love will keep before you that the person you have married is worth the attention you must give through the years. You will not let success or lack of success in work create distance. You will not let the exhausting work of making a living and raising a family drain love from you. Rather, that kind of love actually flourishes over the years because its qualities are best exhibited through the routine and trials of life.

It is while learning the flaws of one another that patience and kindness can emerge. It is as you each go through the ups and downs of life-the successes and failures-that this love can keep you from envying or boasting or being arrogant or rude. With this love you will not grow irritable or resentful when you do not get your own way. With this love you will not rejoice at finding th ...

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