WEDDING, Thanksgiving Meditation

At the wedding of Don Cannell and Joan Hannah on June 7th. 2003, in St. James Anglican Church, Kingston, Ontario.
by Robert Brow (

When young people invite a minister to speak at their wedding they expect an easy recipe to be happy for ever after. I will borrow my recipe from Paul. "Give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). And he added that the secret of "Singing and making melody to the Lord" is "giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything" (Ephesians 5:20).

Why is thanksgiving such a good recipe for marriage? Well, obviously it sweetens the heart and makes you attractive to others, especially your partner. Who wants to live with a sour, crabby, unthankful person? So Joan and Don, I want to remind you of what you are already giving thanks about, together.

GOD AS THE CREATOR of our world. Any artist enjoys it when people appreciate their masterpiece. Don, I know how much you love your garden, and I am sure you both give thanks for its flowers and butterflies and birds . You give them the space to be there, but you are thankful that it was God who designed their intricate beauty.

ONE ANOTHER It was God who created the wonder of your partner, and then brought you together for this day. So you of course you give thanks for one another.

CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN As parents you take pride in your offspring, but it is thanksgiving that best expresses your pleasure in them.

FRIENDS Giving thanks for friends is the best way to keep them as friends..

TOUGH TIMES Paul said "Give thanks in all circumstances . . . at all times and for everything." All of us gathered here hope and pray you will have no sickness, or worries, or disasters in your life together. But if you do get hit by something unexpected, Paul's recipe begins by saying "Thank you that you know how to take us through this." Thanksgiving is the most healing thing in the world.

When I was a boy at school we had to say grace by reciting in Latin Benedictus benedicat per Christum dominum nostrum. I don't think that helped much to make me thankful. But let me read to you what the great humorist and theologian G.K.Chesterton wrote:

"You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomine, and grace before opening a book, and grace before painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, dancing."

I doubt if Don and Joan will do much fencing and boxing, but certainly music, and plays, and walking and dancing sound like good things to thank God for. Mollie and I remember the fun times of dancing with you both many years ago. I am delighted that you are already thankful beautiful people, and today we all join in thanksgiving for you both.

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