Monday, November 28, 2011

Lion King Wedding Sermon

My first crack at a wedding sermon.  For those that know me, the inspiration for "Bobby" and "Sue" is pretty obvious.  I'm practice preaching this on Thursday and would love to hear some feedback.  Thanks friends!

Sue and Bobby, it was a great pleasure getting to know you over the past couple months.  It was amazing to hear your life stories, how you met, and to learn about your hopes and dreams for the future.  One thing that I found particularly striking was how Bobby often cited the Lion King when speaking about love and the meaning of marriage.  Since you’re both seminarians studying for a life of service in the church, I found this pattern a little bit odd.  Given your interest in psychology, Sue, I suppose it was a pretty interesting case study to hear how Bobby came up with such a wacky notion.  A couple weeks back after one of our meetings though, I decided to watch the Lion King for the first time in years and upon closer examination I have come to understand that Simba and Nala do in fact have something to tell us about the mystery of marriage.  That message is quite clear during the “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” scene:

Sure, there’s a lot idealism and over simplification of love in the Lion King… while you will have many nights and days where you can feel the love, many times when there is a romantic atmosphere or when the world is in perfect harmony, that of course won’t always be the case.  A peaceful life together may mean one that’s often quite mundane.  There will be other times without peace, when the trials and tribulations of your life together may be hard to bear.  The love of God, and your love for each other however, will provide support and comfort through both the sorrows and joys of life.  As it written in 1 Peter, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins… Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Simba of course wasn’t perfect, and despite the love he felt that night he was still pretty worried about his shortcomings…  Having given up both the vanity of childhood and his calling to be king of the Pride Lands, Simba was burdened by a deep sense of guilt.  Simba may be a lion, but in such guilt he was human, all too human.  Nala, wasn’t perfect either… how many times for instance do you think she lied to her mom about just going to the watering hole only to get herself in trouble?  The thing though is that living amidst the scars, missteps and adversity of life Simba and Nala were given the gift of each other.  Sue and Bobby, you’re people, you’ve faced difficult pasts... your life together will not be perfect either.  Amid those though imperfections God will be there to forgive and to heal through the saving grace of Christ’s sacrifice.  God has given you the gift of each other, and you have in fact been called by God to love and serve each other through better and worse.

Timon really had it wrong in the beginning of the song… he didn’t actually have anything to worry about.  Simba was called to do a lot of things besides just loving and caring for Nala… he was still called to be a good friend to Timon and Pumba for one.  Both Nala and Simba were called to free and then lovingly lead all the animals living in the Pride Lands.  You too will love and serve your Creator in many vocations, empowered by the gift of each other and responding to the gift of God’s saving grace in Christ.  The married life is not perfect of course, and it’s not the only way on can serve God.  All gathered here today have been called to serve in any number of ways.

Sue and Bobby, today is the day to join with friends and family and celebrate what God is calling you toward… a new life together.  Today is the day to celebrate your love for each other, the day to celebrate the gift and mystery of marriage and to celebrate the gift of God’s love. With God’s help, you will have many more such happy days together.  Through good times and bad though, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Simba and Nala of course weren’t perfect.  However, through the gift of love however they were able to steal through the uncertainties of the night… to become the king and queen they saw inside each other.  May you too have such a blessed life together, faithfully serving each other and feeling the love of God tonight and forever.