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  • Writer's pictureGreg Dover

Greg's Weekly Word: "marriage" what bwings us together today.

(If you don't know the source of this, please stop whatever you are doing and watch The Princess Bride. You're welcome.)

Marriage has been on my mind lately, probably because I am currently leading four couples through premarital counseling and will have three weddings in the course of five weeks in the next two months. And it makes me think of the image of Christ as a bridegroom and the Church/believers/Creation as the "bride of Christ." Which I've always thought was a weird image, because this is what I picture:

I guess someone else had the same mental image as me

Sure: maybe it's just a poetic metaphor of God's love for creation and Christ's love for the Church, a love that will be consummated when heaven and earth are "married" in God's new creation. And that's certainly something to look forward to.

But as Fr. Richard Rohr reminds us of our divine union,

Union is not merely a place we go to later—as long as we are good. Union is the place we come from, the place we’re called to live from now.

And if we extend out the metaphor, it makes sense. Because what happens before we are married? We are engaged. It is the not only the build up to the marriage, in which plans and preparations are is also a time when the couple grows ever closer - when they begin to live and love as they will when they are fully together. And much of that takes self-awareness and communication (things I talk about a LOT with couples in premarital counseling). It takes attention and intention. In short, it takes work!

So how can we begin to live and love here and now, even before the fullness of that divine marriage? How could we be intentional about growing in our relationship with Christ (and our relationships with one another)? Put differently, how might we preview the divine marriage of God and creation, Christ and Church, heaven and earth, not only saying but embodying the prayer, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven...?

Pick one thing (just one) to do over the next week that in some way answers these questions. Then be intentional about doing it. I'd love to hear about it, too - either in a comment here, or you can send me an email.

Regardless of what you decide to do, I hope you will not wait until live and love as Christ would have us to do. :)

Happy Engagement!


P.S. For your enjoyment, the picture below is of my wife and I the night we got engaged. I don't know what I was thinking with that "beard," or with the collar outside of my sweater. Thank God she said "Yes"!

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