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The two shall be one…

I witnessed a miracle on Saturday… a miracle I have dreamed about for years. I have witnessed this miracle again and again, for the last 40 years. Yet, to stand in the chancel of All Saints Church as both mother and pastor, I was overwhelmed with God’s gift. Many marvel at Jesus’ first miracle in turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana, but that miracle pales in comparison to the union of husband and wife that preceded it that day. The two shall become one…

Yet, while our modern society still enjoys a good wedding, most no longer believe in the miracle. We have a much more practical approach to life. Marriage in the eyes of the world is primarily a legal commitment, dressed up with lots of love talk and expensive celebrations. Often it is the legal step to give more security to any child that would come from that union. Sometimes it is the legal step to satisfy the family or create a moment for a fun party. But often a wedding is just a wedding… with a piece of paper to seal the deal. How often have we seen how flimsy that piece of paper can be? Many couples walk down the aisle after they have checked things out… kicked the tires so to speak… to make sure that this relationship ‘fits.’ But when you begin your relationship with a trial run that has a quick and easy exit, no fancy celebration and no legal document can change that ‘easy exit’ mentality. Too many cross the threshold of their home as husband and wife with the back door open just in case…

But the biblical description of marriage is different. The two shall become one… woven together, intricately tied, united in heart and mind and purpose. The full verse reads: the two shall become one flesh… one heart, one mind, breathing as one. We think that the mark of marriage is love, but perhaps the better mark is compassion- to feel with... When one hurts, the other is bowed in pain. When one rejoices, the other joins in celebration. Each concern, each triumph shared. One life forged together. As humans, with all our selfish intentions, we fail miserably at such a union. Too often the one who hurts us the most is the one who stood next to us at the altar. And that one flesh is torn again… I have seen too much over the years, so perhaps I am a bit jaded… But then I witnessed the miracle again on Saturday, this time with my precious daughter and her new husband touched by the grace of God. As they bowed for God’s blessing, I looked out at a gathering that included marriages that have lasted for decades. And I remembered again the beauty of God’s miracles that stand in bold contrast to the brokenness of this world. The two shall become one…

Saturday, as I joyed in the celebration of God’s miracle, I witnessed yet another miraculous gift- the union of two families. Our two families are in many ways very different. Our origins are found in two countries on two different continents. Our style of dress, our cultural heritage, our foods, and traditions are so different. When Psalm 103 was read in two languages at the wedding, that choice honored the heritage of both families and highlighted our diversity. By the world’s standards, we have very little in common except for the love of our children, and perhaps one day the love of grandchildren. Yet again God’s Word describes a miracle this world does not understand. St. Paul writes: 
There is one body and one Spirit,
just as you were called to one hope when you were called;
one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Paul reminds us that as Christians we are called to celebrate that unity, to live into that unity, to give witness to that unity so that the world would stand amazed at a miracle far greater than water turned into wine. When Psalm 103 was read at the wedding on Saturday, it was read by the father of the bride and the father of the groom- a bold statement of union not division. Our families stand united in faith, trusting a God who can weave lives together into a beautiful tapestry. I look forward to being part of God’s artistic work in the years to come, weaving the two into one.

That is the same hope I have for all of God’s people… that we would find our unity in the One who is Lord of all. May we find our unity not in agreement over issues or politics, or comfort in similar styles and ways of life, but rather to claim a unity that astounds the world. One Lord, one faith, one God and Father of all… May our many be one as God creates a beautiful tapestry to bless the world He so loves!

With you celebrating God’s miracles,
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