Summary: A Valentine’s Day Vow renewal...with a twist. We,Christ’s bride, renew our vow to Christ, in light of God’s passionate love for us!
"Bride of Christ" VALENTINE’S - VOW RENEWAL
Today, the Sunday closest to Valentines Day, we have wedding vow renewals. Valentines Day, a lover’s holiday. How did Valentines Day began? Another invention by Hallmark? Turns out it is a very, very old tradition. Just how we came to exchange cards and such comes from a long history of various traditions, but Valentines Day takes it’s name from a Christian church leader.
Bishop Valentine was known for his compassion and love. He was martyred, that is killed for being a Christian by the Roman Emperor Claudius on February 14, 269 AD. Some how the man whose name it bears and the faith he died for do not get much mention!...? That is how it began.
Marriage, how did it begin? Whose idea was it? I have a rather interesting idea for you...marriage, as one man and one woman in a lifelong faithful relationship, was not first a human thought or tradition. What human being, left to themselves, would invent a pattern of relationship that is so unnatural to human emotions and natural sexual drives? If human beings had invented marriage based on human desires, then it would look more like...what you see on TV today. Premarital, extramarital, & same gender sex seem to come pretty naturally to we human beings.
We cannot blame it on our modern culture either. History reveals that pre-Christian cultures of long ago, like Greece and Rome, were even more promiscuous. One woman, one man, in lifelong fidelity...it is unnatural! Who thought up marriage?
Jesus, quoting one of the oldest of all writings, from the book of Genesis, says marriage was God’s idea. Matt. 19:4-6 "Haven’t you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator `made them male and female,’ 5 and said, `For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’ ? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate."
Now if you think that was just the custom of Jesus day, think again? Look at the disciples response: vs. 10!! “The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
This marriage idea was just a radical then as today.
It might have been simpler in the very beginning, back in the Garden of Eden. One day EVE said; "Do you still love me ADAM?" ADAM responded; "Who else?"
Here is another interesting thought: The idea of marriage was not first the relationship between a man and a woman, but first between God and His people. In other words, human marriage is created in the image of God’s love for us. (Earthly things are a “copy”,Hebrews 9:24)
Quite a thought...being married to God.
What is your image of God? Distant, intellectual, a judge, a grandfather, a spirit guide? Or maybe the Biblical images of creator, savior, Lord, or Father? Ever thought of God as husband, or lover? Does that sound too personal or too intimate? Or does it tug at your heart and fill your soul with joy?
God delights in us: Is 62:4b-5
“Instead, you will be called The One the LORD Delights In.
Your land will be named The Married One.
I will take delight in you.
And your land will be like a bride.
ISA 62:5 As a young man gets married to a young woman, your people will marry you.
As a groom is happy with his bride,
I will be full of joy over you.”
Throughout the Bible we have the story of God loving people. In the OT the story is often of God passionately calling to a people who are giving their love and worship to many other things than God. Jer. 31:3, 31-32 The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.
JER 31:31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them, "
declares the LORD.
Many other verses speak in this language of marriage and betrothal regarding God’s relationship with His people.
What do you think, did Jesus ever get married? Did you know that John the Baptist calls Jesus, the "bride groom"? (Jn 3:29)
Who is the bride? You know "her"?
Speaking of marriage, in Eph. 5:25 (love) 29 (cherish) 31-32
EPH 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her