"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 13:4-8a
Jesus once said to Nicodemus, “The Spirit of God blows wherever it wants, and you do not know where it comes from or where it is going.” I’ll bet each one of us can think of a few unpredictable twists and turns our lives have taken, thanks to God’s wild, bracing wind that blows in ways we can’t foresee. And it’s a sure thing that, if you dare to go where that wind takes you, you will find yourself surrounded by new possibilities -- opportunities you never expected or even dreamed of. When I first met Jordy, she went by Georgie, had a different hair color, and though she certainty had the energy and creativity we know so well, there was not nearly so much joy in her life. It’s been amazing to watch, as over the last couple years God’s Spirit has opened up the world for her, showing her where she has come from and where she is going.
The hair color change came in discovering where she came from, and being free to celebrate her Irish/Scotch ancestry. Anyone who knows Jordy knows she is unique in many ways, and when she does something she jumps in with both feet. Suddenly we saw Jordy celebrating her heritage in all kinds of ways, from the clothes she wore to the emblems on her coffee cup. When Jordy reached the point in her life where she really felt she had the freedom to be who she was, and to express that openly and creatively, she started by looking back at where she came from and let that become the launch pad for a new identity.
But this new self she was becoming – Jordy instead of Georgi – was just as open to seeing where the Spirit of God was heading, not just where it came from. Who knew that the winds of the Spirit was blowing her towards the internet, to Match.com to be exact. There she discovered just what the old saying says: there are plenty of fish in the sea, and plenty of nut cases on dating sites. But among all the outrageous and arrogant profiles she saw on Match.com, she also discovered one simple straightforward profile that was only 3 sentences… and she decided to give Guy Lynn a chance.
Sometimes the wind of the Spirit blows like a gentle breeze, and sometimes you get Irma. We are here today because two hearts, two souls, two lives have been brought together by the irresistible gales of love… love, which the Bible tells us is stronger than death, love which Jesus tells us the greatest commandment, love, which Paul tells us bears and believes all things, love, which John tells us is the very essence of God. With Guy, Jordy has experienced companionship and caring that echoes those words in our passage from 1 Corinthians – patient and kind, not insisting on its own way, rejoicing in the truth. “He thinks of my wants and needs and allows me to be me,” Jordy said. It’s this kind of respect and care that today Guy and Jordy are pledging to share with each other till the end of their days. It begins, not with the wants and desires we have for ourselves, but in the honest concern and wish for the well-being of the one we love.
It is this kind of love that God had from the beginning -- for the world he created, and the people God took as his children. It is this kind of love that poured out of Jesus in his life on earth and death on a cross. It is this love that travels on the winds of God’s Spirit, blowing into our hearts when we least expect it, causing us to love our neighbor, to care for those in need, and to believe in a world of peace. It is moments like these, where we see what love can do in the lives of two wonderful people, that we can imagine a hurricane of hope blowing through the world, and wonder where God’s Spirit may be taking us on our way to knowing fully and being fully known.
One of the ministries we have at our church, which Jordy participates in faithfully, is our Drive-Thru Prayer. Every Friday from 11:30-1:30, people from the community are invited to come through our parking lot and drive up under the overhang where our prayer team stands ready to pray with them. It can be anything at all – a need for themselves, a loved one, a neighbor, or just a prayer of thanksgiving for what God has done in their lives – our prayer team, the God Squad, will lift it up with them, and they don’t even have to get out of the car. I told Jordy, if you don’t want to have a big wedding, we could just do it at the drive-thru – but you know Jordy – when she does something, she jumps in with both feet. She wanted the friends, the music, the full celebration – and each of you, to be here as she and Guy share their vows, and recognize the one who brought them together, brought them to this place, and will take them from here together, on the winds of His Spirit, to their next set of adventures.AMEN