When I was reviewing the various passages in preparation for today, I gravitated towards 1 Corinthians 13, specifically the section on love. It’s a big topic, but I thought to take a stab at it and I want to open my reflection with a poem my good friend Natasha Ramsingh wrote titled,
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of all our hearts be acceptable in your eyes, O God.
The best wedding receptions are the ones that are roaring good parties. In my life, I’ve been part of weddings from a lot of different vantage points. I’ve been the maid of honour at a same sex wedding, I’ve had the honour of reading the Ketubah, or marriage contract, at a Jewish wedding. I’ve been a member of the catering staff, and I’ve also been a bride myself. My favourite part of any wedding is the one where the lights are low and all the aunties are dancing in a circle to “Rivers of Babylon” by Bony M or “Jump Around” by House of Pain and it’s about the time when the caterers pack up the bar. At my own wedding, my new husband and I tried my mother sorely by dancing until about 2 am. Respecting her cultural traditions, she wouldn’t leave until we, the newly married couple did, no matter how we encouraged her to go on up to bed. We were ecstatic in the joy of our new marriage, and we danced till we couldn’t dance any more. The memories of these wedding days highlight for me the care, community, and love that made them possible.
St Augustine of Hippo, the fourth century Bishop of the city of that name is an early church father that I usually love to hate. Augustine has been responsible for much of the fear of women and sexuality that has dogged church teachings throughout the centuries.
BUT Augustine also wrote this memorable phrase about Hope, which is the theme of today’s celebration: “Hope has two beautiful daughters; “ he wrote ( I’ve changed the noun to be more inclusive!) “ and their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” This time he had it dead right. Anger and courage – two of the components of Hope and also two themes running through today’s readings.