Sunday, 26 February 2012

Good Creative Beginnings: A Short Wedding Sermon with Reference to Genesis 1: 27-28, 31a - for Jeremy & Courtney Bruins

I love weddings. I love the mixture of nervousness, joy, bravado, and hope in them. I love the bride’s walk down the aisle. I love the mix of vulnerability and love in the eyes of the bride and groom as they exchange their vows. I enjoy the variety (and sometimes mystery) in the music each couple chooses for the ceremony.

And even more, I love what’s going on in and under and all around every Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage in this, or any Christian Church. It can be less obvious and easy to miss in the excitement of the day.  What’s also going on this afternoon began in what we heard Stephanie read from the first chapter of the very first book in the whole Bible, Genesis. The word Genesis means beginning. For Courtney and Jeremy, today is a beginning made possible because of the fact that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is love itself, created them, male and female he created them and blessed them (Gen 1: 27-28)—all out of love. That was in the very first chapter of the Bible.

In the second chapter of the Bible, some twenty verses later, there is this: “a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” No sooner had God created men and women and all of creation, he also created marriage. So what is going on in and under and around this celebration this snowy afternoon is a divine welding. Jeremy and Courtney are to be made one flesh before our very eyes. Instead of electricity, the arc that will do the welding into one flesh this afternoon is God himself, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

That’s what I love most about weddings. I get to see God himself at work in his good creation, bringing couple after couple together, and making them one. God created the romantic, exciting love which attracts them and draws them together. He is the deeper, quieter, steadfast, everlasting, love that will keep them together, if they allow it and will do the work. Then the bright lights and sparks and excitement of the falling in love can grow and rise into something full and rich enough that they will get to celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary together, LORD willing, on Saturday, February 25th, 2062. Mark your calendars.

The love that keeps couples together is the for-God-so-loved-the-world kind of love. Less to do with feelings than determined commitment no matter what—crushed toothpaste tube after crushed toothpaste tube, toilet seat up or down, dirty diaper after dirty diaper and on and on.

The ultimate expression of that love, the very radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, who upholds the universe by the word of his power (Heb 1: 3) is Jesus Christ, Son of God, light of the world, LORD and Saviour, the great Bridegroom, whose Bride is the Church of which the congregation who worship here are a part and into whose presence you have come to be wed in His Name. Please continue as you have begun and make Him and His Church a part of your lives and relationship. His presence will brings out the best in you. We all become better, kinder, more loving husbands, wives, parents, children and friends when we make room for Him in our lives.

And “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen 1:31) Love is good. Weddings are good. Marriage is good.