Sermon for the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49; Psalm 45:11-18; Romans 7:15-25; Matthew 11:16-19 (NRSV) (KJV)

In the Old Testament Lesson, Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel.

AH love at first sight! Can you picture the movie? Isaac played by Nicholas Cage. Rebekah by Penelope Cruz. Can you see Nicholas Cage looking at the dark haired Penelope with affection and admiration in his eyes. Can you hear the music playing “Have you ever seen a dream walking.” This dream sent by God walked right into Isaac’s life. God had this planned from the beginning. Abraham sent his servant out to find a wife for Isaac. The servant was given specific instructions on how to recognize the woman. Not by looks, not by family, no rich relatives, but by actions. The servant asked the Lord, please let it be the one who offers a drink after she has filled her jug from the water. Not only a drink for me, but for my camels also. This happened just as the servant requested. So Rebekah was chosen for Isaac. The scripture tells us that Isaac took Rebekah for his wife and he loved her.

Has God ever chosen anything for you? Have you ever fell in love with just one glance. Love at first sight. I did when I first met my husband. PICTURE IT: SICILY 1966. Ok so it wasn’t Sicily, actually it was Cornwall just around the corner on Willow Avenue. Harry’s mother, Alice, was a 72 year old lady who sat on her front porch day in and day out. All the kids of the neighborhood sat with her. She use to have cookies, cupcakes, and goodies for all the kids. We use to sit until it was time for Harry to come home from work. Alice made us leave saying “You have to go, Harry will get mad.” I started to wonder who is this guy. How bad can he be? So one day I stayed. Harry came home walked right pass me and went into the house. The next day I stayed again. This time Harry went in the house, but came back out. Love at first sight, maybe. God’s plan definitely! We got engaged and were to get married here at St. John’s. Harry was a cradle Episcopalian. My parents were extremely upset because I was 20 years old and Harry was 50 years old. When it came time for me to walk down the aisle, Fr. Leo (who was the priest here at that time) came into the bell tower and told me my father was in the Parish Hall with a shotgun. He was objecting to the marriage. So due to his objection, Fr. Leo could not marry us. Does this sound like the Beverly Hillbillies? I tell everyone I had a shotgun wedding. So anyway, we were married. My mother told us to go find a Justice of the Peace. So we set off and ended up in Niagara Falls in the dead of winter. We were married by a Supreme Court Judge in Tonawanda, NY on January 3, 1967. Talk about God’s planning. The judge who married us was a woman judge who happened to be a friend of Vera Krieger’s, who I did not know at the time. Coincidence? Maybe. I think God put me and Vera together to reminisce, to share memories, to let God’s spirit grow in our hearts. I didn’t meet Vera until God sent her to Cornwall in 2005, but once we came together it was like two pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly in place.

Has God given you someone to share with, someone to grow with?

Has God given you part of himself in another person?

Just like Isaac finding the love of God in the love of Rebekah. Let’s go back to the story. Isaac was 40 years old when he took Rebekah as his wife. At first Rebekah was barren, just like here mother-in-law Sarah. Rebekah prayed to the Lord and the Lord answered her saying “Two nations are in your womb and two peoples born of you shall be divided. The one shall be stronger and the other, the elder, shall serve the younger.” So it was Rebekah had twins, Esau and Jacob and that’s another story that ends with God’s love. So from the beginning of generations God’s love has been with us, through Abraham, through Isaac and through Rebekah. I know that no matter where I go or who I am with, I will see the love of God shining through. So as we go on with our activities today, just stand back and see who God has sent to you. You never know what God has planned. Just keep your heart open and your eyes looking for the love of God. He is all around us. And as always we thank God for his unspeakable gift. God be with you this day.

Amen