In a world filled with challenges and uncertainties, it is heartwarming and inspiring to celebrate love stories that endure the test of time. On December 25th, 2023, Gene and Hazel Molnar, long-time church members, were commemorating their 70th wedding anniversary! In the same way, I have witnessed the care and love between Peter and Sherry Rogers during this tender time as Peter receives end-of-life care at home. These couples are nothing but glimpses of hope, and together, they exemplify resilience and remind us of what is possible when God is the foundation of a marriage.
The love story of Gene and Hazel Molnar is a testament to the enduring power of love. Seventy years of marriage is a rare and remarkable achievement, and their journey serves as a source of inspiration for all of us. It reminds us that love, though not always easy, is a force that can conquer all obstacles and stand the test of time.
In the midst of their long and fulfilling journey together, Gene and Hazel have shown us that love is not just a fleeting emotion but a lifelong commitment. Their story is a beautiful reminder that through the ups and downs of life, through joys and challenges, love can continue to grow stronger.
The love shared between Peter and Sherry Rogers is equally touching. As Peter receives end-of-life care at home, they demonstrate that love is not confined to the easy and joyful moments of life but extends to the challenging and difficult ones. Their unwavering support and dedication to one another are a testament to the depth of their love.
What a great example these couples provide—that love is not only possible but worth every effort and sacrifice. As we celebrate their milestones, let us remember the opening monologue from Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister in the movie "Love Actually," 2003.
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around."
In these words, we find a profound truth—that love is indeed all around us. It may not always make headlines, but it is the force that sustains us through the darkest of times and makes life's joys even more beautiful.
I would like to note that the movie "Love Actually" is rated R for sexuality, nudity, and language. While the movie contains elements that may not be suitable for all audiences, the message of love conveyed in the quoted monologue is universal and speaks to the power of love that transcends boundaries.
Just like Gene and Hazel, and like Peter and Sherry, there are dozens of examples (within our congregation) of love, perseverance, gentleness, commitment, and love that are worth honoring and celebrating even after death. The examples from the Molnars and Rogers are just the ones happening this week that I have had the privilege of witnessing as a Pastor.
So, would you join me, offering a prayer of gratitude for the great love all around us.
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the love that Gene and Hazel Molnar have shared for 70 years and the love that continues to shine brightly between Peter and Sherry Rogers and all of the other couples, friends and relationships we all get to celebrate and acknowledge. In your Word, we are reminded that "And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love" (1 Corinthians 13:13, NIV). We see this truth manifested in the lives of these couples, where love knows no end. As we celebrate their love, let us also be inspired to cultivate love in our own lives, cherish our relationships, and let love be the guiding force that unites us all. Amen.
Let us celebrate the love that surrounds us, uplifts us, and reminds us that love is possible, enduring, and ever-present. Congratulations to Gene and Hazel Molnar on their 70th anniversary, and may the love of Peter and Sherry Rogers continue to shine brightly, illuminating the path for us all.