Sunday, April 18, 2004

wedding sermon

for those interested in mixing U2 and God at a wedding;

[not to be reproduced in any form, including verbal, without permission. ie. creative commons does not apply to this post]

Nick and Marion,
it is a honour to speak at your wedding.
You are both really good people.

…some personal words to Nick and Marion about what I appreciate about them ..

I received an email from Nick with my instructions,
It was titled
the longest wedding sermon ever.
sweet as to mix U2 and Trinity
just don’t forget to mention the g or j words.

I will leave you all guessing about what are the g and j words.

U2 have a song One.
They have many songs, but the song One is one of their finest.

The song starts
Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same
Will it make it easier on you
Now you got someone to blame

So is this the best thing about being married, about being one?
That you get someone to blame.

I Nicholas Charles Woodley
take you Marion Elizabeth Deeble,
so I’ve got someone to blame.

The song by U2 continues
Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?

I Marion Elizabeth Deeble
take you Nicholas Charles Woodley,
to disappoint me
to leave a bad taste in my mouth

What does it mean to be one?
For U2, being one includes times of disappointment and of blame.

There is a French philosopher with the rather unfortunate name of Nancy. Jean Luc Nancy.

Mr Nancy can’t stand false “oneness”. He can’t stand relationships and marriages and communities that just put up a good front.

But Mr Nancy does not give up on marriage. Instead Mr Nancy argues that true relationships, deep oneness, starts with us being real.
Starts with each of us acknowledging that there will be disappointment and a bad taste.

Because when we are real, when we face our limitations and name our struggles. We are then able to see other reality, to face others limitations and struggles.

And in that shared reality, we are One.

And so the key to building a good marriage is to be real.
to face your limitations and struggles.

Or as U2 finish,
One life
But we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other.

Nick and Marion, you are Christians

You follow a God who accepted you.
Who knew your reality and your limitations.

Who loved you as you are.
This is what love is:
that God loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which are sins are forgiven.

These are the g and j words
God, who loved us in sending us a Son called Jesus.

who did not accept false oneness
who looked past all our “good fronts”

God accepting our reality and our limitations.

As you Nick and Marion have experienced that God acceptance,
so you have become One with God.

Marriage is like your Christian spirituality.
Keeping short accounts, not taking each other for granted, making time to listen.

Marriage is a journey. A shared commitment to grow and change.
And the only way you can grow and change,
the only way you can wrinkle and mature with each other,
is to be real with each other, to accept your limitations and name your struggles.

I remember sitting with you, slumped over a café table in Kingsland
Two weeks before you had asked for some advice on how to choose a marriage companion for life, how to know someone was “the one.”

And then there you were, slumped over the café table, telling me that you and Marion had broken up.

And so your relationship with Marion has this sense of reality,
times of disappointment.

Yet here you are today and you are looking very handsome and Marion is beside you looking beautiful and it was all worth it.

On your website on march 16 you wrote
I am sooo over being engaged. I am sick of organising stuff. Why does deciding you want to spend the rest of your life with someone equal becoming a manic, diarised control freak?

And so you have built your relationship on reality and on struggle.

Yet here you are today and you are looking beautiful and Nick beside you looking handsome and it was all worth it.

Nick and Marion
you will probably not remember a single word I say.

When you watch the video tape, you will hear me say

Build you marriage on reality.
Build your marriage on your limitations and struggles.

One life
Because you’re not the same
You get to carry each other
Carry each other

Posted by steve at 12:15 PM


  1. Thanks for sharing that… 🙂

    Comment by Paul — April 18, 2004 @ 2:34 pm

  2. Nice stuff Steve… I am a big U2 fan so that just made it all the better 🙂

    Comment by phil — April 18, 2004 @ 11:57 pm

  3. “One” at a wedding – boy, *that* takes courage. Nice job. I’ve linked it on the “Get Up Off Your Knees” blog.

    Comment by Beth — April 19, 2004 @ 12:37 am

  4. Steve, Nick & Marion – thanks for the glimpse inside. Amazing. Encouraging and amazing.

    Comment by Lisa — April 19, 2004 @ 4:41 am

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