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Yes, I know, this is the day that President-Elect Trump officially becomes President Trump.  That is pretty big news and probably deserves some kind of reflection or commentary. And I know that what I am about to write about would not garnish any national attention like the historic presidential inauguration. But it’s my “Reflections” so I get to choose what I write about!  And what I am going to write about is more important to me than any president or any election.  Because healthy  marriages, not presidents, are the bedrock of any society. So, if I may self indulge…
     On Wednesday, January 18, Susan and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  I always wonder what people mean when they say they “celebrated.”  What exactly do they celebrate? It is a good question and one to ponder and reflect on. So, here are some of what we celebrate:
We celebrate our love, our family, our friendship and our long history together. We celebrate that God has been, is and always will be the center of our marriage and the foundation of our lives together.
We celebrate Janine, Michael and Willie, Laura, Mike and Vinny and James; the family the Lord has blessed us with and continues to bless as it grows and expands.
We celebrate our parents and grandparents and the families we came from.
We celebrate that we have shared life together…the ups and downs, the tears and the laughter, the challenges and victories, the sorrows and joys.
We celebrate that “two have become one” and all the mystery that entails.
We celebrate that the union and intimacy of marriage reflects the love of Christ and His church, a lofty and worthy calling.
We celebrate the journey of faith that we have been on which has led us to be in full time ministry, shepherding a church that has become our extended family. We celebrate that we have a great marriage…not a perfect marriage but great in our devotion and support of one another.
We celebrate that even when its not easy it is always worth it to work on our relationship.
We celebrate the changes and adventures, the traditions and memories, the completing of each other in friendship and partnership.
We celebrated that we have created a legacy and still have much creating to do.
We celebrate that on one hand it seems like we were married yesterday and on the other hand it feels like we have known each other forever.
We celebrate the vacations, holidays and special events we have shared together.
We celebrate marriages, baptisms, communions and birthdays.
We celebrate old friends and new ones and ones yet to come.
 We celebrate the every day and mundane, being busy at doing nothing important, special or necessarily productive.
We celebrate that we can agree to disagree…and that is o.k.
We celebrate that God has made us so different in so many wonderful ways.
We celebrate that we complete one another…Even each other’s thoughts and sentences at times.
We celebrate that we are blessed to be married to our best friend.
We celebrate walks on the beach and majestic sunsets.
 We celebrate the differences in our histories and personalities that make us uniquely us.
We celebrate wishes, hopes and dreams…Some of which have come true.
We celebrate prayers prayed and prayers answered.
     Somehow, our love has grown deeper and our bond has become stronger.  We are more in love today than when we were 25 years ago.  Susan is more beautiful to me today than ever before…inside and out.  And I think we are just starting to scratch the surface of our unity and oneness.
     I do not intend to put forth that ours is the best or ideal marriage. Nor do I want to paint a picture that its always sunny with never a cloud in our home.  That would be dishonest and deceptive.  But with all the negativity about marriage, all the bad statistics concerning marriage and predicted doom of marriage I want to tell you that marriage can be celebrated and recognized as a gift from God. I believe that healthy, vibrant marriages can actually change a culture and can impact a society more powerfully than any presidential agenda or legislation.  So it is worth the effort, worth the hard work and sacrifice, worth the keeping of vows and maintaining this holy covenant.  It is worth the investment, no matter what the cost.
     So a toast to us!  It is truly a Happy Anniversary.  And Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.  I look forward to what the next 25 years bring; I look forward to what God will write in the next chapters of our lives.  I hope that when people see us they see Jesus and His church.  That surely would be something to celebrate.
What do you think?  How does it make you feel?