Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A light toasting

This is an extract from my wedding speech...or ‘toast’ if you insist on speaking American...

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Next there are sweet kola nuts and bitter kola nuts. Kola nuts are one of the ingredients in Cola Cola that give it its name and the combination of sweet and bitter remind a good African couple that their union must continue whether things are going well or if life is taking a more difficult turn. This is one of the big issues that seems to have been lost in the modern marriage. We fall in love with the idea of being in love, we put love up there on a pedestal, instead of following the God who is Love we wander off in the wrong direction and follow Love as our God , something which CS Lewis says will immediately turn love in to a devil.

I don’t know much about love really, I’m like someone who has seen Far and Away or PS I Love You, eaten Lucky Charms, listened to U2 and read half a book by James Joyce (because it’s awful hard to read a whole one) and then stands up and gives a lecture on what it means to be Irish. I really need to wait until I’m enjoying a Guinness in Dublin before talking like I understand. But I am helped in my ignorance by what Paul has to say in Corinthians 13. And one of the things which I think we miss too often in this passage is that we think when we Love, all of these things, humility, kindness and patience and so on, all these things follow. That is what the world says, that the overpowering feeling of LOVE will ensure that this will automatically be how we treat one another. But the truth seems to be different to me or at least have another angle to it which is also true. Because sometimes our kola will be a bitter one and we will need more than red romance to see us through. Because the emotions, the feelings, will not always compel us in the right direction, and we have to re-read Corinthians and see that these virtues, self-sacrifice, forgiveness and truthfulness ARE the stuff that love is made of. So sure sometimes I will be so deeply in love with you that I will give you my last shmore by the camp fire and I’ll kiss your sugary lips and all will be well in the world but what about if you have an argument? What about if someone starts being more successful at work than the other? What about if someone needs a lot of care of some kind for an extended period? What about then. Because that’s when we show forgiveness, that’s when we don’t show envy, that’s when we show kindness. That’s when we really show love.

Do Peter and Malia realise that? Do they understand what love really is all about? Yeah I think so. And that is really exciting. Malia will tell you that it took me a while to see that but when I got to know Malia properly, when I got to know Peter and Malia as a couple properly, it was quickly very clear that this was a special thing. And personally they give me a lot of confidence that all of this is possible. That it is possible to meet someone you could love at a roundabout. That it is possible to fall in love and stay falling even when geography and circumstance does all it can to stop you. That it can be possible to be so sure of yourself and your heart that you are prepared to leave all you know behind. And live the dream...

...Weddings are wonderful. And it is wonderful to get a chance to stand before people like you and say nice things about people we all love. But really it is all meaningless if it’s just songs and dance. What matters is that we live like it’s true. That we live like we really do love Peter and Malia. That Peter and Malia live like they really are one. That we really follow our God who is love. That’s what matters and what is really exciting is that that is exactly what I believe Peter and Malia are doing.

2 comments:

Laura said...

you have a gift for writing, my friend. i always love reading it.

Amy said...

speechless by this speech.
undone.

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