persevere in love

in honor of my sister's engagement, i wanted to write something about marriage.  about grace and service.  about dying to self.  about sacrifice and shared ministry.  about being known and loved anyway.  about forgiveness.

but these ideas seemed so lofty, and i didn't have the words yet.  so i shall share lauren winner's words, and she's got some goodies.  b, this is for you, and it's about community, so it's right up your alley.  we all could use a reminder that our relationships are not meant to stand alone, and that marriage exists in a larger context:
"Insofar as marriage tells the Christian community a particular story, marriage is for the community. It reminds us of the communion and community that is possible between and among people who have been made new creatures in Christ. And it hints at the eschatological union between Christ and the Church. As Catholic ethicist Julie Hanlon Rubio has put it, “marriage consists not simply or even primarily of a personal relationship. Rather, it crystallizes the love of the larger church community. The couple is not just two-in-one, but two together within the whole, with specific responsibility for the whole. . They must persevere in love, because the community needs to see God’s love actualized among God’s people.” The inflections of community are important because they get at the very meanings of marriage. Marriage is a gift God gives the church. He does not simply give it to the married people of the church, but to the whole church, just as marriage is designed not only for the benefit of the married couple. It is designed to tell a story to the entire church, a story about God’s own love and fidelity to us."
it's a heady task, this marriage as living-out God's grace in community, but i know that you and jerod are up for its challenges and joys.  we are bursting with excitement for you both!

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