Colossians 3:12-17 ” … above all clothe yourselves with love …. ”
Over this past spring and summer, Canadians especially have been enamored by both the royal wedding and royal visit to Canada by Prince William and Kate Middleton. They have become an iconic couple and are changing the perception of the Monarchy especially for younger generations.
Their wedding was royal, to be sure — what with all the pomp and circumstance and world-wide media attention.
If you can imagine with me the various media images of the couple you have seen, would you not agree that what they are wearing bears significantly on their royal identity? Of who they are? After all, who but royalty would don a wedding dress designed by Sarah Burton costing half a million dollars?
Well, just for the record, you two look beautiful, and everything about today — what you are wearing and what is happening here makes you a Prince and Princess in the Kingdom of God. Maybe in the eyes of the world — at least according to the tradition surrounding the Monarchy — you are not a Royal Couple. But, make no mistake about it, in God’s eyes — you are precious, you are beloved, and you are blessed.
On their wedding, Kate and William officially became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; on this day, you arrived here as if crowns have already been placed upon your heads.
The Holy Scriptures call us to put on clothing befitting the people of God. What we wear, so to speak, how we behave, what people notice about us – these are all born from an inner source. Saint Paul in his letter to the Ephesians (chapter 4) calls us to be strengthened in our “inner being”.
None of us gathered here may be able to afford a Sarah Burton wedding dress for people to take notice. But when we clothe ourselves with “compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience .. and above all love … bearing with one another … and forgiving others”, people will also take notice. When we clothe our lives with these qualities, well, then, we are the royalty of God in the world, the royal priesthood.
Despite all the foofaraw surrounding the wedding of Kate and William, many observers did not fail to notice the most significant moment in the exchange of vows between them. At that moment, what people noticed were the authentic, simple, heart-felt, quiet and mutual expressions of love between the two of them.
“Above all clothe yourself with love.” Love knows no hierarchy. The capacity to love is a gift we all hold in our hearts. The capability to love is the only qualification for royalty in God’s eyes. And this gift will give you a much greater resource than an expensive wedding dress, to deal with all the challenges that married life brings.
It is the love and grace of God born in your hearts that will help you navigate together through the challenges, disappointments, failures, joys and sorrows that life brings to us all. When things don’t go our way, or when things aren’t perfect in the world’s eyes, the gift of grace will help you see things for what they are, and see other people for who they are — God’s precious creation, God’s beloved people.
Today, you present this truth in your coming together to affirm that it is indeed the gift of God’s love that binds you to one another. It is the gift of God’s grace that ultimately defines your marriage. It is the gift of God’s love that will ultimately transform our lives for the better, and through us, the world.
Thanks be to God.