Thoughts at the wedding of Lois and Peter

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion

We were like those who dreamed

Our mouths were filled with laughter

Our tongues with songs of joy

Then it was said among the nations

The Lord has done great things for them

The Lord has done great things for us

And we are filled with joy


Restore our fortunes Lord

Like streams in the Negev

Those who sow with tears

Will reap with songs of joy

Those who go out weeping

Carrying seed to sow

Will return with songs of joy

Carrying sheaves with them.

Psalm 126



The Psalm you have chosen opens with a theme of restoration.

We know that for you Peter and Lois there have been many days, weeks, months, years of pain, of grief, of loss, of descent

But this is a song of ascent

A song of hope

And today this is your song!


The song talks of dreamers

This connection, this relationship is a gift, a surprise, something you had never dreamt of

Allowing you to dream again, to dream some new dreams

(We have noticed how dreamy you have been in the last few weeks)


And as it is in this psalm, you have friends from all over the world, among the nations who do say of you at this time “The Lord has done great things for them”

And we can see in your faces, even without words, you are saying today

“The Lord has done great things for them!”


The second verse of our psalm today talks about sowing in tears

I want to testify to the way I personally watched Peter and Lois do this

From my read of scripture and my experience of the messy, broken world I come up with few givens in life

Pain, mess, brokenness – unavoidable

Our only solid ground is in God

There is a painting by a New Zealand artist Colin McCahon, (which I had on my wall as a student but I saw again recently), one of his moody New Zealand landscapes which has the prophetic writing underneath saying

“Tomorrow will be the same but not as this”

Change and continuity

Change is inevitable

God is our continuity


And part of the grace and generosity of the Holy Spirit is that there is nothing,

Nothing that we will face that by trusting faithfully, that gritty, tough honest, humble, hanging on and going through it with God,

There is nothing that does not transform us to be more like Jesus

This is a miraculous reality

A reassurance for us all

This is the miracle I have witnessed in both Peter and Lois

I have watched them, each of them, dig deeper into Jesus

To faithfully trust in the goodness of God

When it is hard and dark and lonely

And this deepened, honed, tested and matured faith is the fruit we see in Lois and Peter

For us it is a challenge and encouragement

For them it is the foundation on which they now build this marriage


They share this foundation of a whole hearted commitment to Jesus

Deep belonging in the body of Christ (not just to each other but to their family, their faith communities and to the wider church)

And they share a passion and a calling, a commitment to seeing the kingdom come where there is pain and darkness and injustice

Not many people are prepared to relocate to be a prayerful presence in the slums of Kolkata

Not many people are prepared to dedicate their medical career to the gritty areas of child protection

Again for us this is a challenge and an encouragement

For Lois and Peter it is their shared foundation

Therefore they will of course continue to sow not only in their own tears but in the tears of others, sharing the pain with them and seeking for them this hope and restoration that they themselves are finding.


As I was praying this week I had a sense of both the whirlwind of this romance

It has been surprising and moving and sudden

But at the same time I think we all share a sense of something still and restful and peaceful at the core of this relationship that has the mark of God in the centre


So this is the new dawn

Although the reality is that it’s late in the day today

There’s a new dawn here

Peter and Lois you have asked yourself

“Can I find rest here, in this relationship?”

“Can I make home here, in this relationship?”

And the answer is “yes”

And “Can our marriage, committed in Christ bear this fruit that the Psalm today talks about, the fruit of the kingdom of God?”

The answer is “yes”


Jenny Duckworth, 21.2.14