Below, you see Bishop Pennel performing our ceremony, and I want to reflect a little here on his homily, as it honestly means more now than when he originally delivered it. One of the scriptures for the service (and we did take care to make it a worship service, complete with hymns and eucharist) was Joshua 24:15, "Choose for yourselves this day who you will serve... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." We asked Bishop Pennel to preach on what it means to serve God as a household (presuming that it means something different from serving God as individuals).
He said that serving God as a household means loving one another well. That sounds lovely, but I remember thinking that was a cop-out. Shouldn't it mean working as a couple for the betterment of society? Helping one another grow as disciples?
Through the ups and downs of the first couple years of marriage, though, I've come to see that he was right. Loving one another well is a prerequisite for any other good we can do in the world. Why is that? Because unhappiness breeds self-centeredness. When the relationship is struggling and one or both parties is unhappy, we cannot get outside ourselves enough to focus on others and the service to which God calls us. That's my experience, at least. While loving those closest to us is often harder than loving complete strangers, the health of that primary relationship provides a platform from which to love and serve God and neighbor.
This last one is a favorite of ours because, to us, it symbolizes how FUN our wedding was. All those empty chairs, everybody out on the dance floor, it was awesome! We had a great start, Baby, and the best is yet to come!