Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship, persecution or famine, nakedness, peril or sword? It is written, ‘For your sake we are being put to death all day long, and reckoned as sheep for the slaughter.’ In all these things, however, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. I am convinced that nothing can separate us from Christ’s love. Neither death nor life, nor angels nor demons, nor the present nor the future, nor any powers, nor height nor depth nor anything else in all creation, will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:35-39]
During my time in ministry I have conducted several services in which couples renewed their wedding vows, one of which, a wedding anniversary celebration, included the giving and receiving of rings. I thought it was a really fitting gesture as these rings symbolised a bond that had stood the test of time, a companionship that had grown and a celebration of a loving relationship that had been through so much in their time together, but which was stronger now than when they first got married.
Thinking about it, this is exactly the sort of relationship God wants us to enjoy with God. An unbreakable, special bond, rooted in love and in time spent together. Too often our relationship with God is hopelessly onesided, with our rejections and betrayals. But whilst so many human partnerships flounder and fail because of such betrayals, God does not give up on us so easily. The love of God is as strong as ours is weak, as sure as ours is fragile. However often we go off, thinking we don’t need God, we will be continuously sought out, as God longs to draw
us close again.
The reading from Romans is one of my absolute favourites. It tells me that whatever I get wrong, whenever I go astray, God yearns to welcome me back. I only have to respond, to experience once again God’s love in all its fullness.
And if any of you would like to renew your wedding vows, do get in touch, it is a lovely service!