The Marriage of Katie Adams and Sebastián González
Somos la resisténcia. We are the resistance.
There is no single more profound or revolutionary force at work in the world today…than love. It is the act of creation, of reconciliation, of audacious hope that something more is possible.
In my life, I have never known a time when the world has been more seduced by the powers and principalities that are love’s opposite: fear and division, destruction and suspicion. I have never known a time when the enormity of what would be fiction is surpassed by the reality that plays out across our newscasts…which then surpasses itself again the next day, and the next.
And so I have also never known a time when the testimony of our lives lived in love could matter more: to us, to our communities, and to a broken world that cries out to be healed, to be knit back together and made whole once again.
Many of you have heard me talk before about love as a verb. It is the idea that love is more than a thing we feel on a good day when everything is going right. Love is more than sentiment. Love is more than romance…though romance is (of course) lovely.
But the kind of love I’m talking about is more than that. It’s grittier and deeper than that. Love as verb is found in our actions – in what we do, sometimes whether or not we feel like doing it. We find it in the choice of kindness over hostility, over and over again. It shows up when we care enough to share the truth we have. It surfaces in patience, even when we’re already exhausted.
Katie and Sebastian, that is the kind of love that the scripture you have chosen for this day reveals to us. That kind of love is strong as death – strong enough to be the seal upon your heart, the seal upon your arm. That is the love that the apostle Paul writes about, to the church he loves at Colossae – so clothe yourselves with that. Because that is the love of the Gospel, in which Jesus calls us to abide.
The point at which Jesus is speaking to his disciples in John’s gospel is called the Farewell Discourse. He knows he will be leaving the friends he loves – the people who have given up their lives these past years in order to follow him as their teacher and friend. Jesus knows something of what is to come. He has some sense of the betrayal and pain and death he will suffer, and ultimately, the fact that he will have to leave them. And so this prolonged discourse is really Jesus trying to give these friends and followers of his what he knows that they will need.
And what they need, in the end, is love. That gritty and deep and active kind of love is what he knows will sustain them in communion and community with one another once he has gone. So he calls them to abide in that, to persist in sharing and living the love that will hold them.
Katie and Sebastian, you know about that. And you have known it, as you have prepared for this day for a long, long time.
Katie, your dad was so excited, in those last weeks of his life, when you and Sebastian were engaged to be married. He called to tell me about it. “My Katie,” he began…he was so glad and grateful that you had found the person you wanted to share your life with, in love. And Sebastian, he was so glad and grateful that that person was you.
When Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico just less than a year ago, the two of you put love as a verb into action. You took what you had saved for this occasion to send what your family and friends whose lives had been devastated by that storm needed, in order to live. And then you told the story and you invited us into it – you gave this community here gathered the chance to join you in your efforts of love as verb. You raised money to buy things like batteries and lights and water and food. People dropped off and picked up and helped pack. You made videos to tell the story and widened the circle to include even more people. Your employer pitched in to help, and ensured that everything was delivered as it should be.
Your act of love transformed us. It made us more than the sum of our parts. And today, we welcome your family and friends from Puerto Rico who have been through so much. Bienvenido a todos sus familia y sus amigos que están aquí con nosotros hoy. Gracias por estar aquí, por la oportunidad de celebrar su boda juntos con alegría.
We celebrate together, still and again transformed by the truth of love as verb. Because when this church realized that you had given what you had for your family to have what they needed, the people of St. Augustine’s Church realized that we have everything we need right here to throw a heck of a party for your reception. Your refusal to let destruction and devastation have the final word has made us all more than the sum of our parts. And so here we are, right here with you, standing together, in the kind of love that abides.
Katie and Sebastian: love as verb looks like what you have already done, and I trust will continue to do. It’s a thousand small acts of resistance against the powers and principalities that foster the kind of lie which says destruction and fear will rule the day…it’s trusting that those thousand small acts of generosity and honesty and kindness, taken together, those thousand small acts of love, hold the power to transform us – they hold the power to transform this community, and this world.
And so I call you, today, to live that. Be the resistance, by resisting fear and division with love. Show compassion, even when you don’t feel like it…especially when you don’t feel like it. Be patient with yourselves, and with each other, and with your community. Be willing to receive forgiveness or compassion or kindness, even when you don’t deserve it…especially when you don’t deserve it. Live mercifully. And be steadfast, trusting that your love for each other is bigger than either of you can ask or imagine. Work together for righteousness and justice and goodness and peace, for there has never been a time when those things mattered more than they do right now.
Sebastian and Katie, your lives lived in love stand as testimony to all of us, and to a world that needs the gifts you have and the gift you are more than I know how to say. So continue to make your love real, by your words and in your actions. Live that reality as testimony for us, as the sacrament that you are, that we might be transformed again, might become more fully who we are because of your witness to what is possible. Choose each other and choose each other and choose each other again. And know this: you have been chosen by God, and you are holy and beloved. Amen.