To Infinity and Beyond
Sermon at the wedding of Sara Wright and Johnathan Dotchin
15 May 2021 – St John the Baptist, Felixstowe
Text: If you love someone you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in them, always see the best in them; always stand your ground defending them. (1 Corinthians 13v7 – The Living Bible)
God give you peace my Sisters and Brothers.
Planning a wedding is never a simple job. However for a wedding I led at St Andrew’s in Bramfield the groom was quite relaxed, even chilled out, about the preparations for the happy day. On enquiry as to why this was so he said, ‘I have no worries at all as my fiancée has been planning the minutiae of this day for the last nine months on a spreadsheet…’
Following personal experience of the last year, last few months, and this past week, I have come to learn that more than one couple work with a wedding spreadsheet! After all if the Finance Manager of a pharmaceutical company and someone who used to organise a Wedding Venue decide to tie the knot one should expect precise planning.
Mind you there are some hidden benefits to such planning, and I quote:
Sunday – Line 186 of 187 – Beer Barrel and accessories to stay in place until empty (or Dad gives instructions to move) 🍺🍺🍺
The fellowship after worship on Sunday morning may be somewhat lively!
Preparation for a wedding deserves to be exhaustive, though hopefully not exhausting, as marriage is not something that should be, as the formal words of the Introduction to the service read;
…undertaken carelessly, lightly, or selfishly, but reverently, responsibly, and after serious thought.
This is for keeps, or as Buzz Lightyear would say it is to last ‘To infinity and beyond’. Though how you get to go ‘beyond infinity’ has always made me scratch my head a little.
Maybe we should stick with a simpler, perhaps deeper word?
When we lived at St Martin’s school in Johannesburg, Johnathan developed a great love for reading. So much so that when the first of the Harry Potter novels arrived at school the librarian, knowing he would cherish it, sought him out so that he would be the first person in the school to read it. Six and a half novels later Dumbledore and Severus Snape are speaking of Snape’s unrequited love for Harry’s mother, Dumbledore says;
“But this is touching, Severus,” Have you grown to care for the boy, after all?”
“For him?” shouted Snape. “Expecto Patronum!” From the tip of his wand burst the silver doe. She landed on the office floor, bounded once across the office, and soared out of the window. Dumbledore watched her fly away, and as her silvery glow faded he turned back to Snape, and his eyes were full of tears. “After all this time?”
“Always,” said Snape.
‘Always’ If you really want to go ‘To infinity and beyond’ always is the word that will take you there. Listen again to some of the words from our Scripture reading;
If you love someone you will be loyal to them no matter what the cost.
You will always believe in them,
always see the best in them;
always stand your ground defending them.
I guess it’s kind of like having your own personal coach, cheerleader and cornerback?
Every marriage, not just this one, should have pom-poms along with the cake and the bubbles. (Sara, I never did find out if you were on the Cheering Squad in High School).
Always can seem to be a very long time, or, seeing as we are dealing with infinity, almost no time at all.
How do a couple, setting out to give away each to the other, cope with the enormity of this little word that goes on forever? Sara and Johnathan, listen to a few “always’s” from a book about someone who has been a very close friend to both of you since you were children.
Thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. (2 Corinthians 2v14)
We are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. (2 Corinthians 5v6)
God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9v8)
[Jesus] is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. (Hebrews 7v25)
I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28v20)
With the love of the Lord Jesus present with you, providing for you, protecting you, praying alongside you, you will need ‘always’ to even begin this journey of giving yourself away to each other.
So what is there left to say? To infinity and beyond is a good beginning but it needs something to help you celebrate as you journey. How about this?
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4v4)
My beloved son, my precious daughter, Go in peace, to love and serve the Lord, and each other, always.
[This blog ‘To Infinity and Beyond’ is copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2021 and may be reproduced without charge on condition that the source is acknowledged]