Cruce Tectum

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

Location: Moscow, Idaho

Saturday, January 05, 2013

A Wedding Sermon

The Wedding of Dan Smith and Gayle Krenz
January 5, 2013
Text: Gen. 1-3

            It was Friday of Creation Week.  God spoke His creative Word: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness” (Gen. 1:26; ESV).  So from the dust of the ground God formed a man, Adam, and breathed into him the breath of life.  But in this otherwise good creation, there was found to be something that was “not good.”  It is not good that the man should be alone” (2:18).  For God, who has fellowship within Himself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, made man in His image, to be in fellowship, relationship, communion.  It is not good for a man to be alone.  So God spoke again: “I will make him a helper fit for him.”  Thus He caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep, and from his side God formed a woman made especially for Adam, corresponding to him in every way, Eve, the mother of all the living.  God brought her to the man, and he said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man” (v. 23).  Man was no longer alone.  God instituted Holy Matrimony and gave it as a gift to the man in the person of his wife Eve.  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (v. 24).  As that Friday came to a conclusion, God saw everything that He had made, including the man and the woman living together in love and faithfulness, “and behold, it was very good” (1:31).  And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
            On the seventh day, God rested, and that’s when tragedy struck.  God had given all creation for the man and his wife to enjoy, but there was a boundary, the observance of which was divine worship: Don’t eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Trust me on this one, God said.  You know the good.  You don’t want to know the evil.  If you eat of this fruit, you will surely die.  God had warned them.  But the devil never rests.  He slithered over and directed Eve’s attention to the forbidden fruit.  Eat of this, my dear, and you’ll be like God.  You’ll know good and evil.  You’ll determine your own course.  You won’t surely die.  Look, the fruit is beautiful and good for food.  So Eve took some, and she ate.  And Adam, the dope, was standing there the whole time, forsaking his divine vocation as head of the human household and preacher of God’s Word.  Eve gave some to Adam, and he ate.  Their eyes were opened.  They knew the good they had once enjoyed.  And now they knew evil, and it was them.  They were naked, ashamed, exposed.  They had sinned.  They had forsaken God.  They had made themselves gods, and impotent gods at that.  To be sure, they didn’t drop dead physically.  But they died spiritually.  They broke off their relationship with God.  They began to die physically.  They began to age and deteriorate.  And their consciences were painfully aware of the sentence for their crime: eternal death.  They were damned.  They turned against one another.  They blamed one another.  Their own relationship was broken.  Their children were doomed to repeat their mistakes in perpetuity.  There would be brokenness and disease and death now in the fallen creation.  Mankind was in bondage to sin and sentenced to death.  It was not good.  It was very, very bad.  And all was hopeless.  That is to say, until God stepped in.  Once again, God spoke, and His speaking was a Word of promise.  There will be a Savior from God, an Offspring of the woman who will crush the serpent’s head.  How?  By suffering the mortal wound of the serpent’s fang.
            It was Friday of Holy Week.  With deadly venom, the serpent struck the woman’s Offspring, the Son of Mary, the Son of God.  The sinless One, falsely charged, mocked, beaten, and crowned with thorns, was led to the hill outside the city and nailed to a cross.  The devil rejoiced as the Savior was lifted up, laughed at every twinge of pain and drop of blood, as the guilt of the whole world was heaped upon the Lord’s Christ.  But then, much to the serpent’s surprise, God spoke: “It is finished” (John 19:30), and all at once sin and death and hell were at an end.  The serpent’s head was crushed.  The Lord Jesus bowed His head and gave up his spirit.  He died the death of man on behalf of man that man might live eternally.  The relationship with God is healed, the tragedy of Eden undone.  His cross has become a life-giving tree for all who eat of its fruit, trusting in Him.  God and man are reconciled.  For God caused the Lord Jesus to fall into a deep sleep, the sleep of death, and from His side fashioned for His Son a holy Bride, the Church.  Water and blood poured forth as the soldier’s spear rent the Savior’s flesh, the water of the font from which the Church is born in Holy Baptism, the blood of the chalice from which the Church is nourished in the Holy Supper.  In other words, from the side of Christ, our New Adam, God fashioned His holy Bride, the Church, of whom you are a member.  This reality, beloved, is your reality.
            So it is that two Fridays go into the making of this Saturday upon which God here joins together a man and his wife.  The Lord Jesus has broken the curse and made you God’s own.  All is now full of joy and hope and life.  United to Christ, you can be united to one another in Holy Matrimony, taking your rest in Him this Saturday and every day henceforth.  This, even though the creation still groans with sadness and suffering and pain, awaiting her final deliverance.  There will be struggle and opportunity for confession and forgiveness in this, as in any other marriage.  There will be ups and downs and joys and heartaches.  Nevertheless, the old order of things is passing away.  You rest in Jesus and in one another.  And tomorrow is the first day of the new week, your first day as man and wife.  Fitting, for the Sunday after the Friday of Holy Week is the first day of the New Creation.  Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He lives!  He lives in love and faithfulness with His Bride the Church, pouring out joy on husbands and wives who serve in faith as icons, as living pictures of our Lord’s self-giving love and the Church’s holy submission to her Head.  God still speaks, today declaring you husband and wife.  God still speaks, forgiving your sins and breathing into you the breath of life, His Holy Spirit.  God still speaks in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ, declaring: “Behold, I am making all things new” (Rev. 21:5).  And behold, it is very good.  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.      


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