Nothing more exciting than a real chance, unless it is a real second chance. Or a third. So no wonder the great English theologian, Stevie Winwood has said, “When you see a chance, take it!”
Do you remember, how in the book of Genesis, after six long days, God looked at everything the divine Word had created and, behold, it was very good.
I will make a way in the wilderness…
So do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
So happy. So happy I thought I might sing. And especially since there is no other music. I might give voice to an old hymn, kind of, penned by that great American hymn writer, Johnny Nash: which I thought especially appropriate for today (and even more so now, given what happened in the last hour):
Join me on the chorus?
I believe that for these two. They can see clearly now. The rain is gone. And with it, much of the pain and bad feelings.
Or, as St. Paul says in II Corinthians: because of Christ, one way or the other, in ways we might not be able to imagine: here, today, we do see new creation! “All things are new! “Everything old has disappeared!”
St. Paul echoes the Almighty’s over-speak in Isaiah: “Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old…”
With apologies to the Lord, we want to remember some things, one creation to the next. With all due respect to St. Paul, everything old has not disappeared.
Which is to say, hyperbolic prophet and preacher poetry aside, there is joyous carry-over in evidence here today: children, to name two.
Even in the setting: this old house becomes a brand new home.
And just think: a civil, and sometimes uncivil, less-than-sacred sacred institution, marriage—old and broken and confusing, sometimes, these days: today, in this green, feels fresh as Eden.
We do not want to forget everything, but instead choose to remember, and celebrate, and thank God that God was present for Eric and Bethany in what may at the time have seemed God-forsaken moments; blessing in ways that could not always be recognized, there in the wilderness. God provided water in the desert, and comfort even in painful times.
And so it is for all of us, always.
God does not just show-up at the beginning and the end—and never as a reward for our perseverance, but always as a gift of his abiding grace. Not only when the rain is gone and the clouds have passed-away. No, God is present even in the storms: that’s what rainbows prove. That is what Eleanor and Trinity prove.
And, truth to tell—a truth we all know—in spite of Mr. Nash’s hymn, all the rain is not gone, all the clouds have not disappeared, all the bad feelings are not entirely a memory… Look straight ahead: there will be yet be cloudy days as well as sunshiny ones… sickness as well as health, hard times as well as soft.
But in those very moments, look all around: God will be there.
These two know that: for among the other carry-overs from one beginning to the next is wisdom: real wisdom born of real experience.
Wisdom, gestated in hope. Crowned with love. And faith.
All those ancient virtues—and these two along with them along with them—today reconfigured, rearranged, recreated: made wholly new.
A new creation.
Thanks be to God.