The Wedding Sermon

First of all, let me reiterate that I do not expect you two to go the distance–not that prophetic considering where you are today and the inauspicious nature of this ceremony of disaster.

Most weddings are full of shi…..ps, little paper boats people fold along seams, scribble on, and push out onto whatever river they believe in. They write platitudes for the pain, use costly words all wrong.

Then the little boats float off

Leaving you there at the altar, no more substantial than cake topper avatars

Not ready for this:

Loves fierce resolve

To begin and end/end and begin

Together.

We Speak in Tongues

I have sometimes heard

The voice of God

remarkably salty

And full of fire

He is both

Placable and implacable in His anger

The first with sullen men

Then unsparing with his only Son

No siblings without the unendurable

No blind and lame set free

Without his blood for me

1 Corinthians 13:1 NIV

[1] If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

Solomon

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2 KJV

[1] So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter. [2] Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive.

I generally chafe at the wisdom of Solomon. I want to measure my “wise guys” by their lives–faithfulness, sobriety, compassion. S-man seems to fall abysmally short on all categories.

When I read this verse from Ecclesiastes it resonates with my own sense of the fragility and tenuousness of life, but then I cannot help that Solomon had so many powers the ordinary dude did not have to:

Stop oppression

Comfort the bereaved

And use his power as a monarch to generally improve his culture

He had the power to live a different life, to show a different way. I am no king, but I will be judged by how much better or worse I use my power

To change things.

Rules for Prodigals

I once knew a man who said it should be the parable of the prodigal father, which, of course, is true. We are not very prodigal with much but our father’s treasure.

I have been the younger son. I have been the older son. Jesus knows that we are all really not great sons–judge-y or profligate or both, so he gives a story where the two great characters are an old man and a fatted calf.

The man who saves the world makes himself the main course at a feast thrown for a loser.

I am that loser. The shining moment of clarity in any human life is when we realize we are all the prodigal child.

And so we should know the rules for prodigals–

I have done nothing to deserve this inheritance I have squandered

I have made little account for the days my Father has grieved on my behalf

But he never stops hoping I will come home.

What pride, what fear, what foolishness can withstand the power of love?

Luke 15:17-20 KJV

[17] And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! [18] I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, [19] And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. [20] And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

The Good Friend

Recently I have started “meditating” on the good friend. I put meditation in quotes because it can seem monastic and old fashioned, could just say thinking about.

But I say meditation because the particular focus for me is the life-long friendship God calls us to pursue.

God calls us to pursue.

What is a good friend?

Who qualifies as a good friend?

How does one be a good friend?

What do good friends do together?

How much time does good friendship require?

Is there a schlepping requirement?

All these things are on the big stone table of this miraculous friendship God has called me to through the doorway of Jesus.

Very Christiany, I know.

But then I also know I could not draw close to the Holy Divine if I did not have

A friend like Jesus.

Pearl

Once upon a time the Treasure of the world entire told a story about treasure in a field, treasure within treasure, a kingdom in a kingdom in a seemingly arbitrary object, a field of the whole world

I remember when these angry men were children, lovable children, and now they behave as though they still don’t know

You are the treasure

The King and his Kingdom is the treasure.

And if that were not enough, what will a man do if he (gains the whole world)

And loses his own soul?