Tag Archives: James and Emily

life and love: a guest post by james jordan

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Below is the reading written by my brother, James Jordan, which I had the privilege of reading at their wedding ceremony on May 3 at the Renaissance in downtown Chicago. Well done and congratulations to my brother, and new sister-in-law Emily. Thanks, Jamey, for letting me post. 


For some reason, we always pick one of the most important days in our lives to attempt to define two of the most nebulous words in the English language: “Life” and “Love.” But we do it today, not just because this is the marriage of two equally hard-to-define people, but because it’s also the marriage of Life and Love.

People say, “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy.”
But it’s also hard and it breaks. It takes work and effort.
“Love does not boast, or dishonor others.”
But it can make you angry and cry.

Life is sickness and health.
Life does you part.
But it’s life that has a way of bringing you back together.

Love is a well-earned, slow-motion run through flowers and butterflies; flexing the muscles you made carrying each other.
Love is exhausting, like the end of a party.
Love is every shared sunset you watch through your toes.

Life is all the possibilities of all your experiences coming together every instant that you’re alive together.
Life is you being there. Wherever you go.

Love makes you better than you are.

It makes you do things for someone else you would never have done for yourself. Love makes you realize suddenly that you’d trade all the things in your house, all the things you own or ever wanted, old habits and comforts just to have one person beside you for whatever eternity you decide to embrace. Love makes you realize in your heart of hearts that nothing matters more to you, nor has anything before.

People say, “life is short,” when life is literally the longest thing you will ever do.
Love, like the love we’ve tried so hard to describe today, should be at least as long as life.

If not longer.

James Jordan


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an occupying generosity


“Grace is the occupying generosity of God that redefines the place.”W. Brueggeman

I find myself in multiple conversations over this wedding weekend trip. This will be the only wedding of my brother I ever get to be a part of. Our family, those by blood and those by commitment, have gathered together as we are never really able to do in a spectacular city for an important moment.

And as in almost all holy gatherings like these, as all gatherings are likely holy but we only notice some, we find ourselves telling stories together of memories that have scaffolded our shared histories up to these moments. As many perspectives as wedding guests, stories are told over rich food and drink from years upon years of moments, all reminding us of how incredibly fortunate we are.

Children in diapers looking out windows.
Promises made and promises kept.
Phrases learned from repetition that stick years later.
Shared community homes.
Shared inside jokes.
Shared holy lives.

And in moments where we make our promises out loud in fanfare and flower-lined rooms, we are reminded that we have no ability to actually keep them even when we are acting out of our best.

And it’s in these moments, also, that we look back over shared histories from varying perspectives and realize that we have been living in an occupied place, filled with the sometimes subtle and sometimes breathtaking generosity of God. And in those moments, when we have to clench our jaws together to keep from crying out with joy because it will ruin our faces or our makeup, we own up to the holiness of grace filled lives, occupied by the generosity of God.

And we are redefined.

So we celebrate in promise and in party, knowing that a family occupied like ours is a glimpse of the kingdom breaking into earth.

Congratulations, Jamey and Emily. Looking forward to this one.


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