Saturday, 16 July 2011

O, LORD, You Are So Big: a Short Wedding Sermon with reference to Ro 12: 9-18, 1 Cor 13, Mt 22: 35-40 and Monty Python—for Anthony and Kelsey Ilosvay

(Wedding number two today)

I can’t remember exactly how we got on to this, but in our marriage prep Bible study (I figure if people are going out of their way to married in the Christian Church, they need to know what the manual says about it) Anthony, Kelsey and I somehow got to this line from Monty Python:
O Lord, oo-oo-oo, you are so big, so absolutely huge, gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell you. Forgive us o lord for this our dreadful toadying, But you’re just so strong and so super. 
And Anthony suggested I should use it. I think it was a dare. So here goes.

In the last reading we heard, from Matthew’s gospel, chapter 22, Jesus obviously thinks God is big enough, impressive enough, strong enough and super enough to love—with all our hearts, souls and minds—with everything we have, in other words. In fact, He commands it and he calls it the first and greatest commandment.

Admittedly, that’s a tall order. It’s hard enough for us sinners to control our minds (especially when there are so many Australians present), let alone our hearts and souls. It’s a tall order for married couples, too.

I think the readings were well chosen. By choosing them, Kelsey and Anthony are clearly acknowledging that, for them, God is no laughing matter. Not only is God big—infinite, in fact—God is impressively super and strong. The Bible says nothing is impossible for God. God is an awesome being of great power and glory. He raises people from the dead.

If we want to make the most of life and marriage, this is how we just heard God says we need to do it: Love sincerely. Hate evil, cling to good. Be devoted to one another. Honour one another. Be spiritually alive. Serve Jesus. Pray. Share. Be hospitable. Bless those who get up your nose. Live in harmony. Avoid conceit. Don’t get even. Do what is right. Live at peace. Love. Be patient, kind, do not envy, boast, be proud or rude or self-seeking or easily angered. Keep no record of wrongs. Protect, trust, hope in and persevere with one another. Grow together. Above all, just love. Love God with all you’ve got. Jesus called that the first and greatest commandment. And love one another—he called that the second greatest commandment. That’s all you have to do and everything’ll be fine. 

By choosing these readings, you, Kelsey and Anthony, are doing the opposite of the “toadying” sort of prayer in the Monty Python sketch. You are taking God seriously—showing that you are impressed. You are acknowledging the significance of what you are doing today. You’re setting the bar high for yourselves. You know how you need to live to enjoy a long and happy marriage. You know where, and in whom, the best help is to be found as you do so; in Jesus Christ, the heavenly bridegroom, Lord, Saviour, light of the world.

Where is Jesus to be found? Here in his church, in the Bible and in his followers.

Let’s pray. O Lord, thank you that you are big enough to handle anything. May we be truly impressed...