Cruce Tectum

Cruce tectum, hidden under the cross, a blog for Epiphany Lutheran Church, Dorr, Michigan

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Baier/Iciek Wedding

Wedding of Jason Craig Baier and Heather Marie Iciek
February 21, 2009

I.N.I.

Text: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; 9:9-10

Jason, Heather, Beloved in the Lord: Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father, and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

“Two are better than one,” declares Solomon in the Old Testament reading you picked (Ecc. 4:9; ESV). No doubt. There is strength in union. That is one of the reasons God instituted marriage. “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). Thus God created Eve for Adam out of Adam’s rib. “‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, for she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (vv. 23-24). Thus God instituted Holy Matrimony, and He did so for three purposes, first for companionship, second for the procreation and nurture of children, and third that this union of man and woman, the two becoming one, would find its only proper fleshly expression in the context of marriage. This is to say that marriage is God’s gift to you. Jason, Heather is God’s gift to you this day. And Heather, Jason is God’s gift to you. The two become one, because God says so. You two become one flesh and hold one another fast, cling to one another, for you are God’s gift to each other, to have and to hold, from this day forward, until death parts you.

Solomon talks about the advantages of such union. When one person falls, the other lifts him up (Ecc. 4:10). When the two lie together, they keep warm (v. 11). Two are stronger than one when it comes to facing attack (v. 12). Understand that though marriage is God’s gift, there will be no shortage of falling, no shortage of cold, and no shortage of attacks. I’m talking about each one of you falling because you are sinners. You inherited that from the first married couple, Adam and Eve. You were born sinners. You’ve had a lot of practice at sinning, and you will sin against one another. That is why when one of you falls, the other has to lift the fallen one up. You do this by mutual forgiveness. Forgiveness lifts up. Marriage above all other estates is the place to practice confession and forgiveness. Confess your sin when you fall. Forgive the other for falling. Don’t leave each other in the cold. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Always face the attacks and assaults of the devil together.

And this is why the three-fold cord Solomon talks about is so important (v. 12). There are not only two in this union, Jason and Heather. There are three. The third, and most important, is Christ, who binds you together this day. He gives you the ability and resolve to live with one another in mutual forgiveness and love because He has forgiven you. He has lifted you up from your fall into sin, death, and hell. His blood has covered your sin. He has declared you righteous and made peace for you with God. You live together as those who have been redeemed by our Lord Jesus Christ. He has never forsaken you and never will. He has never left you out in the cold, and never will. Therefore you don’t have to forsake one another. You have the God-given ability to stick with one another through thick and thin, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, because Christ sticks with you. You can stand firm against the devil and all his works and all his ways knowing that Christ Jesus fights for you. Thus your marriage will take the shape of the cross. You will sacrifice for one another, because Christ sacrifices for you. You will suffer for one another, because Christ suffered for you. You will suffer with one another, because Christ bears you in your suffering. You can do this because Christ is risen, and His resurrection victory is your own.

Therefore Jason, enjoy your life with the wife whom you love (Ecc. 9:9). Heather, enjoy your life with the husband whom you love. Do so in the knowledge that your life has been redeemed by Jesus Christ. He has given you to one another until death parts you. And know that this blessed institution of marriage is but a picture of Christ’s holy love for His Bride, the Church, His self-giving love for you. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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