Cruce Tectum

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

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Smith/Young Wedding

Wedding of Shawn Young and Erin Smith
Nov. 29, 2009

I.N.I.

Text: Gen. 2:7, 18-24

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

God has given marriage for our good. In fact, even before the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve, into sin… even in the perfection of the Garden of Eden, God said that “It is not good that the man should be alone” (Gen. 2:18; ESV). Mankind is made by God to be in relationship: relationship to God and relationship to one another. And so marriage is the very first thing God institutes, His gift to man for companionship, the procreation of children, and for holy use of God’s gift of the body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24).

And yet, it didn’t take long for more, much more, to be “not good” in God’s creation. Adam and Eve fell. They fell into sin. They ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and so for the first time Adam and Eve knew evil, knew they were evil, by nature sinful and unclean, knew that they had severed their once perfect relationship with God. And even their relationship with one another was severed by sin. Adam blamed Eve for their fall. “The woman You gave me, God, she gave me of the fruit, and I did eat. It wasn’t my fault. It was Eve’s fault, and ultimately Your fault, God, for creating this woman in the first place.” And at this point Eve interjects, “Now wait a minute here, Adam! Wait a minute here, God! It is really the serpent’s fault. The devil made me do it. Don’t you try to blame me!” What God had joined together man had thus separated. The relationship for which man was created, relationship with God, relationship with one another, was broken.

And here we are, the children of Adam and Eve, sinners in their likeness, by nature sinful and unclean, and we have the audacity to have a wedding. We have the audacity to claim, to vow in the presence of God and these witnesses, a lifelong union between this man and this woman. How can we do that? Erin, Shawn, Beloved in the Lord, we can only do this, establish the lifelong union of this man and this woman, because God sent His Son Jesus Christ to restore the eternal relationship between us and our heavenly Father.

The only way your marriage will survive is if you take it to the foot of the cross. The only way your marriage will survive is if it’s source is the forgiveness of sins that you have by Jesus’ blood and death alone. Because you are still sinners. That hasn’t changed. You sin against God. You sin against one another. You sin against your family. You sin against your neighbor. But you stand nonetheless, by faith, in the forgiveness of sins that Jesus Christ won for you on the cross. He paid your debt to God. Your relationship to God is restored. God has forgiven you. He loves you as His own dear children. You are covered by the blood of Christ. Your sin has been punished on the cross. The only thing God sees when He looks at you, covered in Jesus’ blood as you are, is His own Son’s righteousness.

So even as your relationship to God is restored in Christ Jesus, you make bold to promise that you will never break this union you are entering into here today. You will sin against one another. You will have strife in your marriage. By no means will it be easy. It will take hard work. But God has forgiven all your sins. Isn’t that marvelous?! So now you can forgive one another. Today your marriage is sanctified, made holy, by the Word of God and by prayer. God has given you this gift: the lifelong relationship of husband and wife as one flesh, the eternal relationship to God as your heavenly Father. The good has been restored by our Lord Jesus Christ. What therefore God has joined together, let no man put asunder. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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