Welcome to St Mary the Virgin, Widdington
  
I’m writing this article on the morning of Saturday 19th May.  For some that date may ring a bell because it was the FA Cup Final between Chelsea & Manchester United, however for many others it will be remembered as the royal wedding between Prince Harry & Meghan Markle.  Whilst I’m not in front of the television, as I write this article, I know that the BBC coverage has already started and will continue for some time to come.  Probably up to the FA Cup Final coverage itself.  I won’t see the wedding because I have arranged an 11 o’clock meeting in Church House in Newport followed by a short meeting at 12 midday.  In fact, someone else at the meeting jokingly told me off for arranging a meeting that clashed with the royal wedding.  All I can day is my meeting was arranged first.

But I wonder how many you will have sat down to watch the wedding, because undoubtedly it will be a great occasion.  (I’m getting confused mixing my past & present tenses – please forgive me.  It is odd writing knowing that the wedding will be gone by the time you read this but for me, as I write, it is yet to happen.)  I wonder many of you were wrapped up in the whole love story between the bride and the groom.  Because it is a love story, and if there is one thing we cannot resist it is a good love story.

Yet many people do miss the greatest love story of them all.  It is not a story of romantic love but it is about love nonetheless, and it is told in the pages of the Bible principally in the four gospels.  It is the story of love between God the Father, and his children on earth – that is us.  It is the story of love between God the Son, Jesus, who sacrificed himself for each one of us so that we could be forgiven for the things we do wrong.  It is the story of hope that speaks of a love that is to be shared between all of God’s people.  The Bible includes these words:

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbour as yourself.”

To prepare for the royal wedding thousands of people have lined the streets of Windsor to catch a glimpse of the bride & groom.  The picture of them standing alongside each other is a representation of ‘love you neighbour’.  A world where we stand alongside all people irrespective of our differences. 

We celebrate love with the bride & groom.  We celebrate the love we know or have known in our own lives.  If we do that, then let us celebrate God’s love for us too.

Neil