A Wedding, Part 2

I am both humbled and honored to witness the converging of these two stories.  Why, you ask?  Listen to what I know of Humanoid One and Humanoid Two.  I know that Humanoid One is a man of incredible depth and insight, intelligence and integrity, a man who strives to live rightly in a broken world.  I know that Humanoid Two is a woman of unfettered joy and warmth, faithfulness and loyalty, a woman who strives to embody compassion.  I know that both Humanoids are deeply committed to one another, their community, and their faith.  I know they desire their story to exemplify living for something larger than themselves.  As they recounted to me during premarital counseling, “Marriage will be difficult, but it is imperative, to us, that our story, our lives, be employed for the blessing of others.”  This is not a naïve rushing into, but rather the full expression of maturity, the fruition of dedication, integrity, and wisdom.  This is a beginning—an event to shape the patterning of these Humanoids’ life together. In 1 John 4:7-12 we find the word “love” or “agape” fourteen times.  It is used of God’s character and of those who seek to follow God.  It describes God’s actions towards us, and our actions towards others.  Love, according to the author of 1 John, is both an essential quality of God and a defining characteristic of Christ followers.  This is not the overwhelming emotional response one experiences during adolescence.  Rather, love, as it’s used by the author of 1 John, is not so much an emotional experience as obedience to God’s commands.  This is not to be confused with a fundamental moralism, nor a violent social ethic.  As one scholar defines it, love is the ability “to act intentionally, in sympathetic [and] empathetic response to God and others, to promote overall well-being” especially “when confronted by that which generates ill-feeling.”  In other words, love is the ability to act on behalf of the other; it is reconciliation, justice, and compassion. It is of great importance then, when the author of 1 John writes: “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another”—and one need go no further to grasp the penetrating implications.  If we but love one another, then God is seen; if we but act on behalf of the other, then God is made visible.  This is true both in our communities and in our marriages.  God’s love does not only come to us so that we may attend to God, but also that we may prove its meaning in action throughout the world.  If Humanoid One and Humanoid Two but embody the social, moral, and reconciliatory ethic of God, then God is seen; if these Humanoids but incarnate God’s love, then God is made visible.


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