by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church, Ashland, Ohio.
A poetic praise for the call to worship at Ashland First United Methodist Church, 11.22.20.
The rustle of our skirts is drowned out by the crescendo, by a melody swirling and rising and exploding as the doors are flung wide and our eyes take in what they can of power distilled into smiling bridegroom, of the unfathomable looking at us with a partner’s gaze—shoulders squared, chin up, promises emanating, as alive as solar flares.
You, my God, my love, are magnetism and warmth, the walking, talking assurance of soiled linen laundered, of lacerations vanished, of black spots and hissing lies obliterated and banished.
We are drawn to You, we must be near You, so we step, step, step down an aisle made clear for us, to reach You at last, to hold both Your hands, to make vows that are in no danger of shattering—they will be fulfilled, we will be fulfilled.
How good it is to be here, in Your arms, in Your kindness, in Your perfection which loves us into holiness, which binds us to a temple with unending nooks and crannies to explore, which makes us, day by day, a little more like we were meant to be.
As we arrive at the altar, as we turn to face the only worthy destiny, our adoration does not go unaccounted or unanswered.
To peer into this Lover's eyes is to be twirled through time and space. We step in Your footprints, left at the dawn of all things, and can see the waters You birthed, the mountains You sculpted, the hope at the core of Your being which stretches wide without growing thin, which burrows deep, surpassing stony barriers, and which encompasses and cradles and animates any and every and all.
Our jaws drop.
Songs of joy leak out, shimmering and visceral, of their own blessed accord.
You, God, spouse, friend, are THE narrative, THE poem, THE song which the known and the unknown proclaim. Fields burst with it, streams scream of it, the well-dressed creation, so expansive and formidable and chilling in its beauty, bubbles and overflows, gurgles and spreads the message, the praise of the God before us, true heart of true heart, Soul Mate and Maker and Ruler in one.
As for us, we relish the ring of Your covenant, our covenant. We now, as one, look into the eyes of eternity, present and focused and clear before us, and swear devotion, vow commitment, give and receive love. For now and evermore, You are ours, we are Yours.
Cross-Posted from "Reflections on Faith, Words, and The Holiness of Today"