Quoting its verses is like the cards I used to get that said “to a special boy.” It is a substitute for articulating one’s own thoughts. It is a refuge – a sword and shield -for those who cannot string together their own words, or whose convictions need the imprimatur of some supreme being before they’ll let themselves believe it.
Case in point. My nephew got married Saturday. The first 45 minutes of ceremony were filled with sermon and scripture and prayer (and a group hymn and the Lord’s Prayer song ), but mostly rote recitation of scripture.
Here’s the thing. Relentless badgering with someone else’s words you’ve already heard doesn’t insure success. That moment when you finally set your kid free doesn’t take on more meaning because you’re citing Jesus with a couple of brief personal notes instead of delivering your message, with some token Jesus to amplify the real points (give me grandbabies, please don’t get divorced.)
Put another way, when I get hallmark cards (unless it’s a joke card), the ONLY thing I read is what is handwritten. That’s the only thing that matters – the only thing that is solely from sender to recipient. That’s why i will send emails or messages but not cards. I’m only giving my words to you, not some sentiment factory’s.
In the context of the Bible and this wedding, that’s why I fast-forwarded the Livestream to about the 46 minute mark.
Don’t get me started on the vows, which were all generic “what i will do” stuff, not “why”? The closest we got to that was a couple of “sweetheart(s)” thrown in, the apparent equivalent of “special.” I have an anti marriage screed building, but it’s tangential here.
Also, we learned that practice kisses before the actual ceremony are a good thing.