Summary: Passionately pursue a relationship with God don’t tend to a religious duty.
Who Wants to Marry a Prostitute?
A young couple were on their way to get married when they had a tragic accident. The next thing they knew, they were standing arm-in-arm at the pearly gates. They told St. Peter what had happened and then said, "We really want to spend eternity as man and wife. Is there anyone here who can marry us before we go in?" Peter thought for a minute and said, "This is an unusual request, but if you’ll take a seat, I’ll see what I can work out." The couple waited for three months before St. Peter finally came back with a minister to perform the ceremony. The man said to Peter, "We’ve had some time to think about this. We know that marriage is difficult even under the limited term of ’till death us do part.’ Since there is no death in heaven, I just want to make sure that if this marriage doesn’t work out, can we get a divorce?" Peter said, "Are you kidding? It took me three months just to find a preacher. What do you think your chances are of finding a lawyer?"
This is a funny story that highlights a difficult truth: marriage is hard. How many marriages are you personally aware of that have ended in divorce? Divorce is rampant in our society. It is so common that there is even a magazine dedicated to it called appropriately “Divorce Magazine”. Some statistical reports show the divorce rate near 50% in the U.S. Some argue that it is even higher!
Yet in spite of these statistics people are getting married. And summertime is the most popular time for weddings. This year I will officiate many weddings. Weddings are exciting and fun celebrations.
(Some of the following is adapted/quoted from a sermon by Rev. Edward Markquart http://www.sermonsfromseattle.com/series_c_the_prophet_and_the_prostitute.htm)
Think back to the last wedding you attended. You get ready, on a hot summer day dressing up to celebrate this event with the couple and their families. You have known the groom since he was a boy but have no idea who the bride is. You were somewhat surprised when you received the wedding invitation. Yet you are excited for this fine young man. He has just finished seminary. He has accepted the call to a wonderful small town church in a neighboring state. Apparently he is marrying a young woman he met while in grad school.
You arrive 15 minutes before the service is to begin at 3:00pm. Standing in line to sign the guest book, you make small talk about the weather. There are comments about how young the couple is. Everyone is happy for them and hope it works out.
Then you find your seat. You sit down and in a few moments the mothers and perhaps the grandmothers are seated as the piano plays. Then the candles are lit and then the minister leads the groom out.
The groom is the picture of youth and strength. “He looks spectacular. His hair is neatly trimmed, jet black, and slicked back. His shoes shine like they have never shined before. He is wearing a ruffled shirt and he has never worn a ruffled shirt since early childhood and he is wearing so much sweet smelling cologne that the people in the first three pews are nearly asphyxiated. He doesn’t look or smell like the boy you saw growing up. …
And here comes the bride. The mother of the bride stands and all stand to watch the pure elegant young woman slowly glide down the center aisle with her father. From a distance, you can see that something is unusual. Her wedding dress is spattered with mud. Her veil is askew. She comes closer and you notice that she has a cigarette drooping from her lips. Her lips are painted red and she has too much rouge on her cheeks. As she walks by your aisle, you smell booze on her breath. She finally arrives at the front, and the broom is broadly smiling at her like a Cheshire cat. He lovingly looks into her eyes and the two of them stand before the altar to be married. Indeed, this is the strangest wedding that you have ever experienced.”
You sit in disbelief as this fine young man marries this, this woman.
Following the ceremony, you start to inquire about the bride. Who is she? What does this young man see in her? Rumors are circulating. One guest turns and whispers in your ear, “I heard she’s a drug addict.” Another “She’s an alcoholic.” “I heard she’s a prostitute!”
The words bounce off your mind as you’re unable to process them. A prostitute? What on earth? Doesn’t this young man know who he’s marrying? Why would a young man with a promising career in ministry marry someone like her?