I’ve just come from a wedding where I was invited to give a short speech, a toast. Usually weddings involve dressing up in not-so-comfortable clothes, sitting on not-so-comfortable chairs, having not-so-comfortable conversations with people we don’t know very well. And we try to look comfortable doing it. Or maybe that’s just me.
In the days preceding this wedding, I was thinking about how we joyfully celebrate these events, and why. Especially “why”. That led to writing the speech, which went something like this:
Thank you all for being here today to celebrate.
There have been many surveys done in which one question was asked: “What is the most important thing in life?” The most common response is ‘family and friends’. And that makes sense, because it is the community in which we are most loved.
We are all here this evening because of one thing: LOVE
The love between the just-married couple compels us to come and celebrate.
Love is a big deal. Most of us spend quite a lot of time and energy looking for it, trying to keep it, and protecting it. We have this innate desire to love, and to be loved.
It is no wonder; because love is the most powerful force on the planet.
1st Corinthians lists the characteristics of love: love is patient, kind, selfless… and the apostle Paul also wrote, “Love conquers all“.
According to the dictionary, “all” means “all” — no exceptions. Nothing is immune to the power of love. Love conquers anxiety, doubt, fear, prejudice, uncertainty, conflict. Even death.
The great love of God conquers everything in opposition to it. It draws us in, and we become a part of it.
My dear friend Neal went to the wedding also. He said the moment the bride crossed the threshold into the wedding space, everyone rose to their feet and watched as she walked to the front. He pointed out that when the bride (the church) is presented to Jesus, the heavenly hosts will stand in honor. And we will all worship the Redeemer who laid down His life for us.
Then we will see the ultimate fulfillment of Paul’s declaration: Love conquers all.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.