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The love between Rich and Tabitha.
But “love “ is such an overloaded word in our culture today;
It’s hard to grasp its full complexity.
I think the ancient Greeks had the right idea;
They weren’t satisfied with only one word for “love;”
They had four. That is significant today because
the marriage relationship is the only one
where all four are destined to meet together.
The first of those Greek words is eros,
which encompasses romantic love.
Eros is intimacy and passion, valentines and flowers.
Eros is biological and chemical – it is physical and fiery.
But still it is just the tip of the mountain, so to speak.
The next level, the next word, is phileo.
Phileo describes friendship love.
Phileo love is common interests and shared memories;
It is hiking and biking and raising a puppy together.
Phileo is fun; it is emotional.
The next love, the next level, is called storge.
Storge love is family love.
Storge is responsibility and legality and
holiday dinners and family traditions.
Today we celebrate as Rich and Tabitha create
a new family unto themselves;
They become members of each other’s families,
and they unite our families together in storge love.
love’s mountain, is agape love.
In those familiar words heard at so many weddings,
the Greek word that is translated as “love” is actually agape: “Agape is patient and kind.
It is not jealous or boastful. It is not arrogant or rude.
Agape does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the truth.
Agape bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. Agape never fails.”
Agape is not fire or feelings or fetters;
it is a choice, an act of will, a commitment of the spirit.
It is the living water bubbling up
that brings joy to all the other aspects of love,
And it can be the light in the darkness
when all other lights go out.
Rich and Tabitha, you have chosen to be married in full sight of Mount Hood. This mountain has been
both witness to, and participant in, your love story so far.
My prayer for you is that whenever you see it,
It will be a reminder to you of your mountain of love:
the peaks of eros, the trails and waterfalls of phileo;
the forest of family that is storge,
and the strong foundation of solid rock that is agape.
And furthermore, I pray that
the grace of the Creator,
the joy of the Redeemer,
and the faithfulness of the Sustainer
will enrich your marriage all your lives long. Amen, So be it.
Authored by Nancy E. Sliwa
Read tearfully by Nancy E. Sliwa at the Wedding of Tabitha and Rich Colie
5 Sept 2008