Summary: THis message will help us to think critically about marriage- why marriage is to be between one woman and one man, for a lifetime. As society’s definitions change, the Christian idea of marriage needs to be more definite than ever.
“Mary and Joseph and the Case for Marriage” Matthew 1:18-25
One of my favorite radio programs, when I get the chance to listen to it, is the Prairie Home Companion, In one episode Garrison Keillor tells the fanciful tale of John Tollefson. John leaves Minnesota, moves to New York, and makes a life for himself far from Lake Wobegon. One day John Tollefson calls home and tells his parents about something his girlfriend had said: "There’s no such thing as a successful marriage. There are marriages that give up, and marriages that keep on trying; that’s the only difference."
The question I pose to you today is not one I pose lightly. Its one I have had on my mind now for quite some time- What is Marriage?
In reflecting about the Biblical account of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus there is a message for all of us here about what marriage is and about the morality of what we are doing in our society today. The relationship of Mary and Joseph teaches us about what God has defined marriage to be. Its time we think critically about these issues because we are facing them, and increasingly we have less and less to say about it because by and large we are taking ourselves out of the picture. And if we do have a response its usually throwing up our shoulders and saying we don’t have a definite answer on anything. Meanwhile the church stands by and watches all this happen feeling it doesn’t have anything meaningful to say to a world that already perceives us as anything but relevant. Its because we should have spoken up sooner. It answers the question about why did God send His Son to a man and woman? Its says something to us about the reason and necessity for marriage. .The marriage of Mary and Joseph and their understanding of it and family life upholds the standard that God expects. Marriage needs to be between a man and a woman. Marriage is to be a commitment. And Marriage where ever laws are in place to establish it, needs to be legal.
I. Marriage- One Man, One Woman.
We live in a society that tries to paint the picture of marriage and family in broad strokes. Indeed I don’t really think our society even knows what the picture is going to look like when its finished. It has certainly rejected the model God has given us. So without a model to go by, its going to look like one of those wild, impressionistic post-modern pieces of artwork. It has really clouded what we thought we understood marriage to be now with almost any combination of people living together, not living together, children, no children, related, unrelated, opposite sex, now even same sex. Based on a thorough study of God’s word, the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message defines the family as the ’foundational institution of human society. It is composed of persons related to one another by marriage, blood, or adoption." I doubt that will make any difference to Hollywood, or to the Supreme Court. It may not even make much of a difference to you. But I believe it does make a difference to God, and it ought to make a difference to us. It made a difference, I believe, to the earthly parents of Jesus.