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Lamplighter - Fr. Aran

posted Feb 25, 2016, 12:33 PM by St. Thomas Church   [ updated Sep 1, 2017, 8:36 AM ]

Hello friends . . . grace and peace,

I’ve had the privilege of being a part of 4 weddings this summer.  What an honor!  Just to be invited to sit in the congregation for a wedding, to me, is a big deal.  But when a couple comes to me asking if I would be willing to officiate the ceremony, lead them through their vows, ask God to bless the rings, preach, pronounce them as a married couple? That is as good as it gets.

To Sarah & Tim, Allie & David, Carol & Ricky, and Kaiah & Matt . . . thank you for the honor and privilege of being a part of your special day.

All 4 of these weddings had a former St. Thomas Youth Group student as a main character.  Sarah, Allie, Ricky, and Matt were all a part of some combination of confirmation classes, youth groups, d-groups, film school, mission trips, weekend retreats, and summer camp.  They each were a part of a community of students that gathered together in order to practice a Way of Life so that it can be lived for the benefit of those around us and thereby partner with God's restorative mission for the world.

And what IS God’s restorative mission?  As I read the scriptures, over and over again I hear about God moving us towards God’s Kingdom.  But not just moving us there, inviting US to be the creators of this New Kingdom.

Creation isn’t finished.  God uses us and invites us to continue the process of Creation with God as we move forward towards The End of All Things when people aren’t whisked away to another realm but rather, as Revelation seems to say, when God comes to us and all things are made New.

Weddings are a small glimpse into that.  A New Love is created between the two people who exchange vows and rings.  They are still two individuals and yet, are Made One.  That’s why weddings are powerful and why we love going to them.  Yes, the food and drink and music and dancing are wonderful.  But it’s the viewing of something being Created right in front of us that is so compelling.

Conversely, it’s when we see people being divided, or ripped from one another, or told that “they” aren’t a part of “us”, that we see and discern the absence of God.  Nothing is being created when we do that.  We’re moving against God.  We are anti-Christ.

I pray you’ve had the opportunity to attend a wedding at some point in your life, maybe even this past spring or summer.  But I pray even more that we, as the people of St. Thomas, can continue to find ways to participate in God’s New Creation and live into God’s Kingdom.

peace to you