With the wedding themes focussing on music and photography, the sermon at the wedding looked at 1 Cor 2:9-10. Our senses are incredibly important to us and obviously we had great joy looking at all the beautiful things in church and listening to the music and vows being made. We enjoyed smelling and tasting the lovely food prepared by church members and hugging and kissing the bride and groom to convey our happiness at their happiness. Nonetheless, one key fact of Christian marriage is that we are called to live by faith (2 Cor 5:7) and the most important person at the wedding was not the bride or groom, family or friends, but God who is invisible to the human eye, cannot be heard by the human ear alone, cannot be smelled or touched or tasted by our physical faculties.

God has good plans for us all (Jer 29:11), a fact we celebrated through the Tim Hughes’ song ‘Plans’, and marriage is His idea. In the Biblical account of creation, we read how man made Adam and then Even and how Jesus endorsed this view of marriage through His presence at the wedding at Cana and through His comments when asked about divorce (Matt 19:6). Marriage, ultimately, is meant to be a reflection of God’s love for the church (see Eph 5:32) and the selfless love husbands and wives are called to demonstrate is meant to be a witness of God’s unconditional love for us, demonstrated in Christ’s death for us on the cross (see Rom 5:8).

Marriage, like life itself, has many seasons, but we know God gives generously to all without finding fault (James 1:5) and can rest secure in His goodness and help. Even in the days when we sing in a minor key or life looks monochrome and lacking colour, God’s presence is there to help us and bless us. 1 Cor 2:9-10 reminds us there is so much more to explore in God. The quotation is from Is 64:4, where we read that God ‘acts on behalf of those who wait for Him.’ Waiting and hoping are from the same root wood in Hebrew which is connected to the threads of rope being patiently twisted together (and a marriage is, after all, a ‘cord of three strands which is not easily broken,’ as Eccl 4:11 reminds us), but as we do that, we can be sure that God is the one who will act on our behalf. Our part is to live according to His principles (loving, forgiving, bearing with each other, caring, communicating, sharing, honouring, serving, being unswerving in commitment and faithfulness); He pours out His love and blessing on us.