Faith, hope and love, these three and the greatest is love. We come together today to celebrate love. There are many challenges to live in this world. Today I saw an advertisement from Jared with an expensive diamond ring on the page, it said love right beside it. Too often we think of love as an easy thing. Something that is all warm fuzzies and rainbows or whatever other object you can put in. The love found in marriage is hard though. It lasts through storms and trials, through grief and sorrow, through joy and sacrifice. Love is an act we commit to.
The love in marriage is supposed to symbolize for us Christ's love for the church. It also symbolizes God's love for created beings. The bible is full of those stories whether it is the heartbreaking story of loss in Job or the hard to understand love in Jonah love is a gift to all and enduring.
Cassandra and Jessica come today knowing much about the trials and endurance of love. It is written in the challenge of their story. Paul reminds us of the attributes which help to make love endure. Things such as patience when we don't feel as if we can draw on one more ounce. Kindness when we're cranky and don't want to be kind to anyone. Hope when the chips are down and it seems there is no way to turn but apart and somehow we find the birth of something new planting hope for the future.
Love endures. In spite of all the challenges you have faced, even to find a place that would welcome and join in this celebration, love has endured. It has made you strong with one another. It can grace our lives with a story of salvation. The enduring love of God in Christ as Paul speaks of here, if others remain open to hearing your struggle.
We find it so hard to follow this love chapter and yet we use it at many weddings because somewhere within we still hope for this hard love to endure. Because we need this message of hope and faith to be born in our very lives. It is the hard ground of planting and patience and kindness and believing which helps it to grow. Today we believe it in your example. May the seeds of love planted between you grow ever stronger as you face the day to day challenges of life. May your children see those seeds grow and be as excited as Jaida bouncing up and down in happiness of her moms becoming one. May we see the love of God in Christ planted in you and come to learn the true love which lasts and endures. Planting it in our own lives and hearts. Amen.