Saturday, May 20, 2017


a Wedding Homily for Ben and Kelsey Roache
by Rev. Peter T. Atkinson
May 20, 2017
at Gordonsville Presbyterian Church
Psalm 139
Hebrews 10: 23-25

Hebrews 10: 23-25
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds,  not neglecting to meet together, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

As I was looking through this wedding ceremony liturgy, these words that we would share, the vows that you would make, the word that seemed to repeat itself again and again is the word faithful. It was repeated enough to drive me to think about it, and to try to think deeply about just what is meant, and therefore why it is so important on a day like today to repeat so often. To remain faithful in marriage means that you will be true to each other, true to your vows, and honest. In the dictionary it said to be faithful is to be loyal, constant, steadfast. . . seems fair enough, but how can you be such things in a world like ours, how can you remain loyal, constant, and steadfast, when such things are rare, and times passes on, struggles and trials abound, pressures and disagreements come, often they pile on, and the easy and road oft traveled, would be to forsake, forget, and pretend like the words you say today, do not matter.

I think the key is in the word itself. The word faithful that we see meaning to be loyal, constant, and steadfast is rooted in the word faith. . . as if faith itself is what gives this ability.

It may begin with the faith of God, whose steadfastness is quite possibly his most repeated trait, that no matter how far we me wander, God is there as a living perfect of example of faithfulness

 or it may begin with the faith in God, that our lives are actually in his hands, that he has brought you to this point, that he made you, Kelsey and that he brought you here to be standing beside Ben, and that he made you, Ben, and that he brought you here to be standing beside Kelsey, and remembering that road, the road that has led you to this moment goes on into the future with the same guidance, providence, sovereign will and care. Such is a powerful foundation on which to build a life together.

But also look around. . . your faithful families and friends, each given uniquely by God to be in your lives as teachers, helpers, supporters, examples. . . lean on them, lean on us, marriages need a community of supporters, and you have them in abundance.

And look to each other. The love you have, the feeling, the dedication, the time, the memories, the moments where each of you were absolutely needed by the other, the laughs, the smiles, and the tears that will drop on the others’ shoulder, may it sustain you in those moments of frustration and give you faith and therefore the strength that flows from that faith.

God has brought us all together today in celebration, and though we will leave this church the memory of this moment and the vows you are about to make will live on in each of us, and we will then always be able to look back on them and see a testament to the power and providence of God, for His Love endures forever and his promises are true. And we will look to you as your lives grown in fullness and love made stronger together and know truly the same. Amen.