This evening I will joining many others to share in celebration of a Golden Wedding.
Fifty years married is an incredible achievement, and it is a great privilege to be invited to be there.
Way back in 2009, I first got to know this couple when I came to visit the Gathering Place for either for a "squint" or to "preach with a view/as sole nominee" (memory fail; but probably the latter). After morning worship there was spare time before my flight back to East Midlands, and this couple kindly took me home for a meal and one of them showed me round the Botanic Gardens, including "behind the scenes," as they volunteer there.
Since then, I have enjoyed their generosity and friendship - and I have probably driven them to despair at times - as well as valuing their tireless service to the church.
They have made it very clear that there are to be no gifts this evening, and I, being a girlie swat, will do as I'm told. Truth is, the greater gift is what they give to others, modelling commitment and stability, hospitality, humour and, above all, love, in a world where all of these sometimes seem to be in short supply.
God bless you B&K (and thank you for the chicken dinner you rustled up for me at zero notice all those years ago!)