November 27, 2010

Thoughts before conducting a wedding...


This evening, I am presiding over a wedding of some dear friends of mine. I'm very honored to be a part of the night. As I finished up my brief message for the ceremony I got stuck on the idea of devotion and intimacy. This goes back (a little) to what I wrote a few days ago about the subject...

The band Frightened Rabbit has this song, Keep Yourself Warm and in it they bring up the subject of sex in a manner as un-poetic as most hip hop would. Before I go further, let me just say that if you decide to search for and listen to this song, it isn't for the easily offended. But the lyrics of this song got me thinking about a few things. I know that most musical lyrics are open to interpretation, still, for me this song speaks quite poignantly to the way in which we relate to each other, especially within sexual relationships in our culture. The song points to two things simultaneously; that we want sex to create something meaningful while simultaneously wanting it to be quasi-anonymous and meaningless.

I grew up in a conservative environment where sex was (quite unintentionally, I believe) communicated to young people as an ugly act. Yet, in every generation there are those that revolt against the sex-as-ugly campaign (it's not a real campaign, I know). But they still make the same fatal mistake of those they react against: they belittle sex to simply an act. And in response, there are those that say, "Isn't there more to this thing called 'sex'?" Which is what this song said to me.

A while ago, a good friend of mine said, "I don't know why you'd want to get married if you weren't a Christian." There is something to be said about this. Within the Christian value system the ideal of self-sacrifice, not just delayed self-gratification, is a consistent theme.

What is it that is missing from either perspective is an appropriate, working definition of devotion. I shared a some time ago that we had a conversation in our home in which Paige stated that "love isn't perfect, just permanent." There is something profound about this statement that has kept it rattling around my head. In a culture awash with spontaneity, immediacy and self-gratification we miss out on the benefits of devotion.

What do you think?

More later I'm sure. Gotta go iron a shirt...

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