On Never Being the Same

I've been thinking a lot about love lately. I'm writing this on Sara's and my wedding anniversary day. This past week we've been talking about that day, the friends who joined us, the work of putting a reception together in the fellowship hall of the church, a very special rehearsal dinner with family and close friends. The wonderful music that was played during the wedding. Our Bishop, Mary Ann, who officiated. It was truly a day the changed everything for us. Years ago I had written a song for the wedding of a friend of mine. I actually recorded it on an album called In the Beginning back in 1979. The song is called Never Be the Same. The words go like this:

The day is filled with love. Today is like no other day before and you and I 

Will never be the same.

I give you all my love, this day and every day, forever and forever,

In our joy and in our pain.

We become a sign of love that God has given us.

We become a witness to God's strength.

The day is filled with love. Today is like no other day before, and even more,

You and I will never be the same.

And so I'll spend my days with you and with the one who gave his life

By opening his hands.

And now with open arms I offer you my life, in mystical surrender

Into those loving hands.

In union with our God we are become as one.

In God we will bring light into the dark.

And so I'll spend my days with you and with the one who gave his life,

And shared his love by opening to us his loving hands.

The day is filled with love. Today is like no other day before, and even more

You and I will never be the same.

I got to sing it at our wedding. For Sara.

The words have come true. We have indeed never been the same. That's what love does to people. You know, it seems that many people spend a LOT of time and energy trying to prove things like God's existence, that the Bible is inerrant and infallible, that what was written by people thousands of years ago, and translated into languages that didn't even exist then is historically accurate and absolute.

But that's not faith. That's following a set of rules, often harsh rules, judging others for not following the rules, and even bending the rules to suit one's own needs. No, faith is transformative. It takes our life and makes it into something new. And we are never the same.

The God who is called Love transforms us into loving people. But I'm not only talking about romantic love. While that is important, it is not all there is to love. The Apostle Paul tells us that “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.” (1 Corinthians 13) Love is mutual, empathetic, nurturing. It isn't self centered, but, rather, centers itself in the other. And when we do these things we center ourselves in God.

Then the day is filled with love. The day is like no other day before. And you and I can never be the same. How can it be any other way?