Cruce Tectum

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

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Location: Moscow, Idaho

Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Holy Marriage of Lars Hoffbeck and Libby Timmis


The Holy Marriage of Lars Hoffbeck and Elizabeth Timmis
May 25, 2013
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Grand Rapids, MI

Text: Eph. 5:1-2, 22-33

          Jesus Christ is our Alpha and our Omega, our beginning and our fulfillment, and our everything in between.  And what is true of our life in Christ, which, by the power of His resurrection, is eternal, is true also, Lars and Libby, for your holy marriage.  Jesus Christ is your beginning and your fulfillment and your whole life together.  You make your beginning here in the holy Church in the Name of Jesus, and in that Name you will live your life together until death parts you.  And when death parts you, your fulfillment is in Jesus, who will take you to Himself in heaven and raise you from the dead on the Last Day. 
          Jesus Christ is the beginning and fulfillment of our text, our Epistle lesson from Ephesians Chapter 5, written by the blessed Apostle, St. Paul.  The foundation of our Christian life, including your life together as husband and wife, is nothing other than the self-sacrificial death of Jesus Christ.  As St. Paul writes, He “loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph. 5:2; ESV).  And so what you are promising to do now as long as you both shall live is to give yourselves up for one another as living sacrifices to God.  In this way, St. Paul says, in your marriage, you become an icon, a living picture, of the Lord Jesus Christ and His holy Bride, the Church. 
          Libby, you become a living picture of the Church, cleansed by the blood of Christ in Holy Baptism so that she no longer has any spot or wrinkle, but is holy and without blemish, which is to say, her sins are forgiven.  You become the picture of this Church, holy and redeemed, by your submission to your husband.  Not a very politically correct idea.  But you do this, not because anyone is forcing you to do so, not because you are in any way inferior to Lars, but because, as a Christian wife, you desire to be this picture of the Church submitting to Christ.  And what does Christ do for His Bride, the Church?  He is not tyrannical.  He does not demean her.  He provides for her.  He leads her.  He gives Himself up for her, a sacrifice to God for her salvation.
          And Lars, you are the living picture of the Lord Jesus doing this very thing, giving Himself up for the Church, which is to say, giving Himself into death for her, into suffering and crucifixion for her.  You are to die to yourself for her sake.  You are to die for your wife, literally if necessary, for that is what it means to be her head.  You are not her boss.  You are not her master.  To be the head is to be the one who provides, the one who leads, the one who protects, and the one who dies.  And of course, if God so blesses you with children, you are to do this for them, as well.  This office which you take upon yourself here today extends over them, as well.  You are to die for them also, just as the Lord Jesus gave Himself up for the children of His Church, which is to say, each individual Christian.
          You can do this because of what Christ has done for both of you.  He died for the forgiveness of your sins.  He is risen for your justification and eternal life.  He has made you His own in Baptism and feeds you with His Word and Supper so that you can live your life together always in Him.  So St. Paul tells us in our text how you are to live as a Christian husband and wife.  And this is a great mystery, he says, but in speaking of you this way, He is really speaking about Christ and the Church.  Because Christ is our Alpha and our Omega, our beginning and our fulfillment, and our everything in between.  Your marriage is a living confession of Christ.  For it is sanctified by His death, enlivened by His resurrection, sustained by His reign at the right hand of the Father.  God Himself joins you together this day by His Word.  And He who has thus begun this good work in you, will surely bring it to completion through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  In the Name of the Father, and of the Son (+), and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

 

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