Saturday, December 17, 2011

We Made It!

A sermon for David and Andrea's wedding (and a picture from the iPad toting pastor)

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Proverbs 3:1-6
Song of Solomon 8:6-7


Whew! We made it. "We" I like how I just inserted myself right in there. It's your wedding. You made it, so right here, right now just take a moment to breathe, to calm down, to take it all in. You made. We made it. We all made it.

That is actually true. This wedding, any wedding, is a communal event and communal effort. That's kind of the point of the whole wedding. It's the reason you plan and organize and invite and set up menus and and make favors and MOST importantly it's why we gather in a church for worship. This wedding, any wedding, isn't something you want to tuck away in a courthouse with just a couple of people witnessing. It's an occasion on which we all want to celebrate, to give thanks to God for the gift of the love David and Andrea share, to pray together for their relationship and the life they begin together today, to promise our support through the smooth times and the rough. Really, in some way, every person in this room and even many who are absent, made it. We made it to this day, this worship, this blessing. We made it.

One way many of us try to participate in this communal event is with advice. Right? David, Andrea, I won't ask you to rat anyone out, mostly because I don't want to hear my own name listed, but tell me, did you get ANY advice as you were preparing not just for this day, but for your marriage? Did anyone offer you their nuggets of wisdom about planning a wedding, combining your daily lives, living together in plenty and want, joy and sorrow, and all the rest? Yeah. I thought so. If there's anything the community is good at before a marriage begins, it's offering advice.

Well, at the risk of looking like one more person doing just that, I'd like for us to listen for not more human advice, but divine wisdom and promises and blessings as we look to the Scriptures of our faith that we just heard.

In a number of ways the passages we heard lifted up the blessing of interdependence you will experience in even deeper ways once you are married. It's interesting to me how as children and teenagers we struggled so hard for our INDEPENDENCE, but once we met reality face-to-face, once we experienced the complexities the independence of adulthood brings, we suddenly realize how it's not all it's cracked up to be. Independence makes life hard, as the Teacher in Ecclesiastes points out. A man who seeks to do it all himself has no one to help him up when he falls. A woman who shuts herself off from others can't feel the warmth of friendship and love when cold and lonely times set it.

The loyalty and faithfulness spoken of in Proverbs are keys to this interdependence. The promises you will make to stick with each other through thick and thin, turning to no others but each other will strengthen your love as it grows into the unquenchable flame of Solomon's song. Looking to the loyalty and faithfulness of God for each of us as our example and inspiration, and relying on the same for strength and forgiveness when the inevitable trials come into your human relationship, will guide the journey of your life together, making your path straight.

An important piece of this interdependence, of course, is the presence of God in your life and your love. The Teacher ended the description of blessed relationships with what I like to call divine math. David, maybe you can make sense of it with all your programming and computer stuff, but maybe, just maybe it's beyond even your understanding. After speaking about how two keep each other warm, help each stand after a fall, protect each other in times of struggle, suddenly the promise refers to a cord of three strands.

Trust in the Lord with all our heart. Do not rely on your own insight. Let God's will and God's love and God's grace become so intertwined with your own that the cord of your marriage can never be broken, that the flame of your love will never extinguish, that your path together will be straight.

May God bless you as you begin your marriage this day.

No comments: