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Marriage Commitment
October 25, 2018, 12:11 PM

Saturday, October 20

 

So when my niece asked me to perform her marriage ceremony in New Mexico, she said that she and her fiancé were “not religious,” and could we keep the God-talk to a minimum?

 

I don’t think she knew who she was asking.

 

I did try to respect her wishes and took out the prayers I would normally offer (I said them to myself, though!), but I did include the part about finding my father’s prayer book when I cleaned out his apartment after he had died. I have shared this with some of you before. At Dick and Anne Collis’ wedding, I shared it with them.

 

On the front page of the beloved prayer book was written: Vernon’s Prayer Mantra. He must have prayed it often. The book is literally held together with duct tape. He wrote three drafts of the same prayer:

 

Father of Jesus, I receive your mercy with thanksgiving in the Spirit.

 

I’m sure he prayed that prayer for years. Then, in another pen and slightly older hand, he wrote:

 

Father of Jesus, I receive your mercy with thanksgiving in the Spirit, and passion for your Kingdom’s coming.

 

A mature statement of faith, and one that expects almost immediate results. What a statement of faith!

 

Then, in an older hand yet, he scratched out some words and added some more.

 

Father of Jesus, I receive your mercy with thanksgiving in the Spirit, and commitment to your Kingdom.

 

My point to couples about to be married is this: sometimes the passion is not enough, and when that time comes, commitment is what will get you through a rough patch.

 

So I think the Lord was able to speak to my niece and her new husband. I even wore my clerical collar and they kept getting asked “Where did you find a priest?”