George and Patrick, it is so good to be here with you today marking this moment in your lives as you stand before God, family and friends and promise to make of your lives one life and of your hearts one beat. This moment has been a long time coming and we are glad to be standing here with you, supporting you and loving you and cheering you on. We’re glad to be here as students in the George and Patrick school of love and faith and commitment. We are glad to be here sharing in this wonderful feast of love and blessing. And we are grateful—grateful to be partaking in the sacrament of the day and even more grateful to share in sacrament of your life together.
One of the early followers of Christ and leader of an early Christian community wrote to those within his charge, “Beloved, let us love one another for love is from God.” Thirty-five times in that short letter to his community the man we know only as John speaks of love. When I was in seminary taking Greek I struggled with this little letter from John. It wasn’t so much the Greek that gave me fits—Greek is easy once you get the hang of it—it was that word love. I asked the professor, “What does John mean by love?” The professor replied with only a disgusted shake of his head and the words, “You’ll have to find that out yourself.” In the moment, I was humiliated, ashamed, silenced for the rest of the semester.
But that professor was right. Love, the love that comes from God, the love people have in God, has to be seen to be known. It’s really not something someone else can tell you.
To learn about and to learn that kind of love, you have to see it in action. You have to see it in the lives of people like George and Patrick and their life together as a loving couple blessed and blessing.
Blessed are you George and Patrick for you have shared in one another’s mourning just as you have shared in one another’s comfort.
Blessed are you George and Patrick for you have waited patiently, meekly and with great integrity for the Church writ big to come around to your keen understanding and expression of God’s love as made manifest in the love of one man for another.
Blessed are you George and Patrick for you have hungered and thirsted for righteousness fulfilled in the blessing of the Church of your lives and love and very being.
Blessed are you for you have responded in mercy and forgiveness when you have been deeply hurt by those around you.
Blessed are you for you are teaching us how to live in love and kindness seeing the face of God and the blessing of God in those we encounter along the way.
George and Patrick, you are the salt of the earth. Don’t ever lose your saltiness! Treasure it, preserve it, nurture it as the rich taste of God in you.
You are the light of the world. Let the light of your love for one another and for those who have the great good fortune to share this path with you shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.
Thank you for blessing us and blessing God with the light of your love and life together.