Summary: Wedding sermon based on Proverbs 18:22 and 1st Cor. 11:11-12
Parents, family members, guests, and particularly to you Sarah and Charles – Peace and blessing from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
Sarah, Charles: You both have been a pleasant surprise to me. When I received the first call about scheduling pre-marital conferences with you, my first expectations were to expect a couple that was: first, younger – as I received the call from your mother, Sarah; secondly, more passive – again, because the call was second-hand; and thirdly, I expected very little knowledge of the Bible – I could not remember having seen either of you in this church.
As I said, you have provided me with pleasant surprises. The initial call to schedule that came from your mother was because of your difficult schedules, not because of any immaturity, nor from a lack of confidence. I expect that one of the rough marital edges that you two will have to work on is the fact that both of you are VERY confident, though I have not seen that either of you are foolishly so.
But truly, the biggest surprise was your faith and understanding of the Bible. Sarah, you were raised and confirmed in this church. When I discussed the Lutheran view of things, you understood from your years here. Charles, you were raised in the Christian faith – another one of those pleasant surprises for me. But, you were not raised Lutheran, and that was a concern for me. I checked – the nearest Lutheran church to your home town is about 20 miles away – not exactly next door. But you consistently surprised me with your knowledge and understanding of the Bible, and your willingness to discuss what Lutherans believed.
One of the most pleasant surprises was your selection of Bible passages. The typical request for wedding verses from the Bible is for Ephesians 5: “Wives, submit…husbands, love…” or 1st Corinthians 13: “Love is patient, love is kind.” You did choose one of the old standbys, Genesis 2: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” But the other 2 lessons are much less well known, and much less common for a wedding!
“Woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.” What a beautiful description of marriage! We are not independent! Of course, by definition, if we are not independent, then we are DEPENDENT! You, Sarah and Charles are pledging to be dependent on each other. Yes, you are agreeing to love, to honor, to cherish, but more importantly to be dependent on each other – mutually, in equal partnership.
We are all here to witness this wonderful pledge that Sarah and Charles are making. It is not any easy thing to announce your dependence on someone else. Yet, we all are dependent, for in this same lesson, we read: “But everything comes from God.” In marriage, we are not only dependent on our spouse, but scripture consistently reminds us that in all things, we are dependent on God.
“Everything comes from God.” It is so easy to overlook this fact. Consider the words that are commonly used in relation to the events leading to a wedding. WE go out and find someone that WE fall in love with. WE decide to marry that person. WE set the date for a wedding. WE plan that wedding. WE schedule the reception following the wedding! “Everything comes from God.” These difficult tasks that we have set for ourselves, all that planning – “everything comes from God.” This wonderful person that each of you has “FOUND” – “everything comes from God.” The many happy years that you will spend together – “everything comes from God.”
“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” Hebrew is SO difficult to translate into English, particularly poetry – and the Book of Proverbs is exclusively poetry. Is it “receives favor from the LORD” – looking into the future, or is it “obtains A favor from the LORD” – looking at the finding? Both translations are viable, and both are meaningful. A future loving, faithful relationship is a blessing – a favor – from God. And a wife, in and of herself, is certainly a gift of God, for we know that “Everything comes from God.” This is not just a theme for a marriage. This is the norm of all life. “Everything comes from God.” So easily we overlook this fact. We get so involved in all those things that WE do! WE, in our human pride, look to what we have accomplished. We want to applaud ourselves and our take pride in our personal accomplishments.
God determined in the creation of the world that “It is not good for the man to be alone,” and that He would “make a helper suitable for him.” You two will no longer be alone. You will have each other – a gift from God for your interdependence. And God will be there in that life, strengthening and solidifying that love and dependence on each other.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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