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05 November 2011 Dan and Meredith’s Wedding Baltimore, MDNormally I am an early riser and usually sleep with the shades up and the curtains pulled back with thewindow opened a crack so that the cool air and a fresh breeze fills the room…and as the sun breaks thehorizon, it fills my room with light and my day begins. At the same time, I do enjoy about being at a hotellike last night, even though the windows are sealed…for you can use those room darkening shades toblock out all of the outside light, no matter what time of the day it is. And when steeped in darkness itseems easier to stay in bed with the covers over your head and sleep in versus being awake and full oflife and active in the world outside. Indeed, Light brings life…and when I awoke this morning in the nearpitch black room I thought of the line on the Gospel today:You are the Light of the WorldWe gather today with our great love and many blessings for Meredith and Dan. Just about all of us havebeen tweeting and tracking all their preparations for this day using the hash mark, 3xCharm! I mean afterall, how often do you have the opportunity to witness a twice married Episcopalian convert fromCatholicism, former TV producer and ordained priest marry a twice married catholic convert fromJudaism, a seasoned author who calls herself the Supreme Word Goddess of the Universe…all of whosewedding plans, selections and arrangements have been shared for months through various social mediaoutlets and whose public profession of love and commitment this day is being fed live, on the net, as Ispeak.You are the Light of the WorldNo doubt Meredith and Dan selected meaningful scripture readings to be used in this liturgy…includingthis Gospel passage about our call to be the Light of the World…Light that overcomes darkness, Lightthat produces growth…Light that requires us to change. And all of us are called to shine this Light whereit can be seen by all and given to all, without exception, no matter of race, creed, color or sexualorientation. And isn’t that what Dan and Meredith have done their whole lives? They have been aconstant beacon to all of us – and it is that brightness and that love and that life giving flame, that hasdrawn us here today.They are the Light of the WorldThrough her many books, blogs and blessings and as abbess of the Virtual Abbey, Meredith has skillfullymastered the social media tools allowing her to virtually shine her Light and her love into lives ofcountless people. Dan, as priest, canon and friend…using all types of media and his physicalpresence…has shared the message and blessings of Christ to everyone he touches even including thosepre-game revelers in the parking lot before a Raven’s game. No one can doubt that both of them spendall of their energy in not only burning their Light brightly but also pulling back the room darkening shadesof our lives so that the Light may shine on us.All of which brings us to this day – to this wedding – to this very public sacrament that Dan and Meredithwill administer to each other in a few minutes. It gathers us all together for this ultimate shining of theLight and Love they have for each other. And what is our role in all of this? You mean there is more thansimply tweeting how great Meredith looks or how well Dan’s tie matches her dress? 1 Deacon Jim Knipper
Yes…there is no doubt that we all have a role! After all, this sacrament could have taken place in a quietside chapel with a few witnesses and it would have been just as valid and licit. But we are all called tobe……The Light of the WorldBy coming together as husband and wife this Light that Dan and Meredith have given off for so manyyears will now only increase in intensity. And our role, our ministry, our love for them calls for each of usto reflect their Light…and to pull back our personal shades, to take off those bushel baskets we often donand to shine their Light – this Light of Christ, this spark of the Divine…to everyone around us. But bothDan and Meredith know that this is not easy…they know that marriage can be challenging. They knowthat marriage is a journey of two hearts and souls that are connected and supported by family and friendsand sealed and blessed with the graces of this sacrament. I think this is why the majority of thesacraments are called to be done in a very public setting...for it binds and blesses the whole community.It really does become clear why Jesus began his public ministry by performing his first miracle at awedding…a local feast celebrating love and union of two people. For it is core to what he came to teachus – of how to love one another…to transform one another …and to walk with one another…to be Light toeach other.Most of us are familiar with the beautiful words of St. Paul we heard Meredith proclaim so well a fewmoments ago – Paul’s clear and eloquent letter about the perfect bond of love. It is a beautiful readingwe often hear at weddings. But St. Paul wasn’t talking about marriage. He was writing to the Colossianswho were a rather dysfunctional group of people practicing some weird, off the wall, stuff. So Paul waswriting to instruct them on how to live and love together as a community…to allow the Light of Christ toshine through the grace-filled cracks of our imperfect selves – and to be open to accept the mantle ofChrist filled with the gifts of patience, compassion, kindness and gentleness. This is what Paul asks of theColossians and it is what is asked of all of us this day.Dan and Meredith…This is why we have gathered here in person or on the net, from all different faiths and walks of life…tosimply take the first of many steps with you as you begin this incredible journey.It is said that a friend and a lover is one who knows the tune in your heart and soul and will sing it back toyou if you should ever forget the melody. We as a community, who will always be ready to add ourvoices in harmony, urge you to never stop singing that song to each other...for the bonds and blessings ofmarriage call each of you to help the other be who God has called you to be...which is…The Light of the World.In closing, it was St. Ignatius of Loyola who once said, “It should constantly be our care to see God’spresence in everything”. There is no doubt that we can all see God’s presence here today in the loveyou have for each other… and know that our prayer for you today echoes the words of today’spsalmist…that the blessing of God’s presence be with you all the days of your life and that the peace andlove of God always live in your hearts. Know that we love you both very much…we wish you well…verywell…always and forever in your life together – but especially on this day, through this sacred covenant,in this holy sacrament, that you are now about to administer to each other. 2 Deacon Jim Knipper