Saturday, 16 July 2011

White Wedding: a Short Wedding Sermon with reference to Eph 3:14-19 and Col 3:12-19—for Clarke and Kimberly White


(Wedding number one today)

I guess this really is a White wedding. White dress, Clarke White…

Wikipedia says white weddings started with the white dress Queen Victoria wore when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Before that brides wore all sorts of colours. At the time of Victoria's wedding, white was considered the color of mourning, and inappropriate for a wedding.

Thereafter, as accounts of Victoria's wedding spread across the Atlantic and throughout Europe elites followed her lead. Because of the limitations of laundering techniques in those days, white dresses were a sign of conspicuous consumption. They showed the world that the bride's family was so wealthy and so firmly part of the leisure class that they could afford to lose such dress if were soiled and couldn’t be cleaned.

And here we are in a church that exists because of the Jesus Christ we heard about in the readings from the Bible and who, on one occasion, on what is called the Mount of Transfiguration, the Bible describes as having clothes that became as white as the light (Mt 17:2), dazzling white (Mk 9:3), bright as a flash of lightning (Lk 9:29), whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them (Mk 9:3), and even his face shone like the sun (Mt 17:2). This, or any other, wedding is especially, wonderfully, white because of His presence. Jesus makes weddings extra white. And Jesus can make marriages white—whiter than white—so they glow.  

We hear how in the Bible readings Clarke and Kimberly chose to set the tone of their new married life together. Kimberly and Clarke, if, as we heard in the first reading from Ephesians, you invite Jesus Christ to make his home in your hearts as you trust in him (Eph 3:17), your hearts will glow with His light and so will your marriage. If you allow your marriage to be established in His love, you will see just how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ (Eph 3:18) for you.

And as we heard in the second reading from Paul’s letter to the Colossians, if you clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience with one another (Col 3:12), make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive each other (Col 3:13), over and over and over, if necessary. If you clothe yourselves with that kind of love, you will be bound together in perfect married harmony (Col 3:14). Most importantly, if whatever you do or say, is done in the name of the LORD Jesus (Col 3:17), your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong and this white wedding will have launched a marriage which glows with the dazzling, bright as a flash of lightning, white light of Jesus Christ himself. There is no stopping such a marriage.

As I thought about this white wedding theme, I wondered if there were any white wedding anniversaries. I found there are three: the sixth, thirteenth and sixtieth. Here are the dates of yours: July 16, 2017, 2024 and 2071. Mark your calendars.