Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience…forgive each other, just as the Lord has forgiven you…clothe yourselves with love which binds everything together in perfect harmony…
On June 21st, Steve and I will have been married 51 years. Most folks find the “Big 5-0” to be the cause for a huge celebration. This time last year (our 50th), I was still recovering from back and hip surgeries which had kept me confined for over 18 months. Oops! This year, because of Covid–19, the confinement continues. Each day, however, is its own cause for celebration.
While others may struggle to deal with the new realities of living in quarantine, we were fully prepared for what the last three months have brought. Our marriage vows of “in sickness and in health” have been lived out on a daily basis. The Confirmation prayer for “patience in suffering” has been tested and affirmed and the promise of the “spirit of joy” continues.
My Redeemer friends and pastors have prayed for me and with me. Steve and I have immersed ourselves in Redeemer music and followed along with livestream worship (even before it was the thing to do!) Our faith has sustained us through the challenges of living together in close quarters, not only in the past three months, or the last two challenging years, but throughout our 51 years of marriage.
In 2018, I retired from Redeemer’s wedding ministry and having met with so many couples as they planned their “big days,” it was easy for me to remind them that the one “big day” would be the beginning of many not so “big,” sometimes challenging, days thereafter…all the way to 50+ years and beyond.
I am grateful every day for the blessings we have been given, for what we have enjoyed, and for the hope of brighter tomorrows.
A blessing at the close of the Lutheran marriage service uses these words: “The blessed and holy Trinity make you strong in faith and love, defend you on every side, and guide you in truth and peace, now and forever.” Amen.