Summary: This was the service in honor of my parents 50th wedding annivesary where they renewed their vows.
Who brings these two, who after fifty years want to declare that their only regret is that God has not promised fifty more but also that their greatest joy is being able to look forward to walking hand in hand for eternity?
(in unison “We Do”)
(Assume our positions on the platform)
Let us pray.
Fifty years ago this very evening a young American serviceman, tall and handsome, stood in a small church building, thousands of miles from his home and family, because a conviction in his heart told him that she was the one.
Fifty years ago this very evening a young Canadian woman, petite and beautiful, held the hand of the one she would, in just a few days, follow thousands of miles from her home and family because a conviction in her heart, nurtured by more than 200 letters and a faith in God that he had lead her to know, told her that he was the one.
In spite of the fact that they were from different countries, in spite of the fact that in the more than a year that they had known each other, less than a month had been in each others presence, that conviction told them that God had set into motion the incredible events that brought them to that time and to that place.
It is this conviction, that after fifty years is still as strong as it was that cold Canadian night, that brings us to this time, to this place, to this celebration, as standing before their family, family by physical blood and family by divine blood, are my parents, James and Anne Asbill; still tall and handsome and still petite and beautiful.
Occasions such as these are rare. Rare because we live in a time when conviction is not honored and commitments are not kept. Rare because, for some the sands of time have ceased to flow, not allowing milestones such as this to be reached. Rare because, very seldom does a minister get to tell those standing before him what they have done right for so long. Rarer still when that minister is their son who owes all that he is to the fact that they have done it right for so long. But we have always been a family of the rare and the special, so it is my desire this evening to do just that. To tell you, and all who are present, you have not only done it right but have done it well.
Conviction, as you have demonstrated, is composed of at least three parts, possesses at least three facets. There first of all must be knowledge; knowledge that marriage is an institution, not created by man, but conceived in the vast mind of God and given as a gift to man from the greatness of His mercy. You know that a Christian marriage is not merely living for each other; it is two uniting and joining hands to serve God. There must be the understanding that marriage is the clasping of hands, the blending of hearts and the union of two lives as one. But it is also so much more. It is the declaration to all that God specializes in turning the broken into the complete for marriage was God’s solution to the one thing in the perfection of all creation that He found that was not good; that man should be alone. That is why he created marriage because man did not need a better place to live or more animals or even more of God but someone just like you mom, created for someone just like you dad.
Knowledge with out action, however, is wasted and useless and so you lived what you believed and modeled what you knew. The greatest gift the two of you have ever given Lori and I is the gift of loving each other by doubling your joys and sharing your sorrows. You showed us how to show love and receive love and because of your example, we not only knew what we wanted but knew when we found it in Carrie and Dale. Therefore the blessing can and will be perpetuated as we strive to demonstrated and live in the light of your example for Nicole and Evan, for Christian and Baylee.
But knowledge and action must be permanently united with commitment. The commitment to live obediently to the will of God, the commitment to intentionally relinquish your wants for the benefit and well being of the other, the desire to reveal the simple and pure joy of allowing God to be reflected not only in your individual lives but also your divinely united one. It is commitment that has aided you to be able to respond, “We meant it when we said fifty years ago, “For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death and death alone shall separate us.”, and we mean it now.”