Monthly Archives: June 2015

Instagram – What’s Not to Love?

Love it, loathe it, or ignore it; these are your options. To those who ignore it, you have already read too far. So …

What’s not to love?

It is a great way to connect with people in a way that 1000 words may not, unless you are a literary writer. I love to see my family, their smiles, their little joys, their daily lives. It is personal. It works.

It is an excellent medium (although I have never actually met one) to capture a moment, something beautiful – as attested by any number of sunrise and sunsets – or a scene worth sharing, an event from a personal perspective.

A holiday, a wedding, a meeting, a meal. Friends together.

It can be a lot of fun – silly captions and word plays.

All good harmless fun, promoting connectivity otherwise not easily available, and a chance to be a little creative. So …

What’s not to hate?

Selfies – an ugly obsession, even if you are beautiful.

The perception that everything you do is amazing, every place you go is exotic. Heaven help your friends if they can’t match your fabulous life – which I happen to know you don’t lead.

Photos of the food you are about to consume – when else would you invite the world to your table, and how big can a steak be?

Sayings as banal as they are short. Solomon would blanch.

Likes. How many did I get? They always get more! How can I boost my likes?

It has been 10 minutes since I last looked. See you later.

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The Wedding

The setting was all you’d hope for: formal rooms at a London botanical garden, sunshine in May (a bonus), and family and friends gathered to celebrate with bride and groom. Wonderful.

I was invited to lead the Blessings Service, following after the Civil Ceremony, which was itself performed with appropriate dignity. Papers were signed, and the couple was duly pronounced man and wife – legally.

Civil law is of value in its demands of responsibility, and its enshrining of rights. But it seems utterly powerless in its ability to stop the rampancy of another civil right – divorce. And the words of commitment spoken at the Ceremony are as enduring (in many cases – not all) as the couple’s moral integrity, failing that, for as long as ‘love’ holds out.

The State has no mandate to sanctify or bless a marriage. In fact the question should be asked, when did the State arrogate to itself the right to even perform a marriage, or say it has the right to validate marriage, and that without the State’s authority a marriage doesn’t exist? This is the domain of the church, of the gathering of God’s people to bless, and witness to, the commitments of the vows. Marriage is not a child of the State. It has been forcibly adopted.

And the State should be called to account for saying no religious symbols or literature can be in the same room in which the Civil Ceremony takes place. What absurdity, and in the United Kingdom – a country with a profound and pervasive Christian heritage.

The Blessing Service, on the other hand, can be seen as a ‘lovely’ add on, or something quite different. And it is something quite different.

It is the main event. We, gathered in the sight of God, surrounded by believing family and friends, expectant of the presence and blessings of God we joyfully heard God’s word and promises, listened to and concurred with vows of commitment and faith, vows that have a seriousness and vitality that pales those of a Civil Ceremony, we witnessed and rejoiced in their marriage in God’s eyes.

A Civil Ceremony is required by law; therefore it is right and proper. However it doesn’t seal, empower, nor sanctify a marriage. Only the presence of God can do that. The first may be required but the second is utterly essential.


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