The wedding was glorious, which was a combination of what both you and Alice brought to the party. I post below what I was going to say at the service. Substantially it’s correct, from 1Corinthians 13
That was a great song.
And if I was ever invited on Desert Island Discs it’s one of the recordings I’d take to the desert island with me.
And those of you who know the programme will recall that you also get to take a Bible to the desert island’ But if they’d run out of Bibles I’d tell them not to worry because I would memorise arguably the most inspirational passage in the whole book, and it’s those words written on the centrality of love that I’ll read to you in a minute.
Before I do that I want to tell you that you have a critical part to play in this reading.
I’ll finish the reading with “This is the word of the Lord” which is your cue to shout back “Thanks be to God”
And those of you in the expensive seats know that rattling your jewellery isn’t good enough
I mean shout
Perhaps Twist n Shout.
Almost 50 years ago In 1967, when most of you were simply stars in the sky there was an international TV link up called One World, created to showcase the talents of a growing world
From the US we had the launch of the Saturn 5 rocket – America launched a lot of rockets in those days
And From Tuscany we had Franco Zefferelli rehearsing Shakespeare’s classic Romeo and Juliet – and John will be singing an adaptation of this brilliant story later on
And in Japan, they were putting the finishing touches to building an underground railway station – very industrious these Japanese.
And from London the Beatles sang a song written by John Lennon, my son’s namesake called All you need is love
Fast forward to 1981 when Diana Spencer was asked whether she loved her fiancée She replied “Of course”
And her fiancee Prince Charles, heir to the throne and of course to the top job at the Church of England chipped in “Whatever in Love means”
As our future King and Head of the Church of England perhaps he should have known better because 2 thousand years earlier St Paul gave his definition of love
Love which should exist between parents and children, between sibblings, between lovers, between marito e moglie
Saint Paul begins by comparing love with other virtues
Let’s remind ourselves of what he wrote
1 If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth but didn’t love others I’d only be making noise.
2 If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything but didn’t love others what good would it do?
3 Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move I would be worth nothing at all without love.
4 If I gave all I had to the poor and was burned alive for preaching this message but didn’t love others it would be of no value whatever.
NOW PAUL GIVES US A LAUNDRY LIST OF WHAT LOVE DOES CONSISTS OF
1 Love is very patient and kind
2 Never jealous or envious
3 Never boastful or proud
4 Never haughty or selfish or rude
5 Love doesn’t demand its own way
6 It’s not irritable or touchy
7 It doesn’t hold grudges
8 And would hardly even notice when others do it wrong.
9 It’s never glad about injustice
10 In fact it rejoices when ever truth wins out
NOW PAUL GETS VERY PERSONAL. MANY OF YOU WILL HAVE SEEN ON THE WALL IN JONATHAN AND ALICE’S APARTMENT THE Italian proverb “Tra moglie e marito non mettere Il dito – AND TO THIS PAUL ADDS THESE WORDS OF WISDOM
1 If you love each other you will always be loyal to each other no matter what the cost
2 You will always think the best of each other
3 You will always believe in each other.
And finally you will always stand your ground in defending each other.
Well that’s it.
In the fullness of time most of God’s gifts will fade away, but as Mick Jagger sang love is love and doesn’t fade away
It goes on forever.
And in the end there will be faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these by far is love.
Now it’s your turn.
Can you remember your cue?
This is the word of the Lord