Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Wedding Sermon

The Rev. Paul J Cain, Jr.
Genesis 1:26-28
Abiding Care
Wedding Sermon for John Atwell and Danielle Morehead
Friday of Easter V, 15 May 2009
Immanuel Lutheran Church, Sheridan, Wyoming

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
So far the sermon text John and Danielle have chosen for today.

A wedding shows the abiding care our Lord has for his people. He created Adam. Then He created Eve for Adam. And then they were fruitful and multiplied to the point that all of us are here. The Scripture read at a Christian wedding reminds us of God’s original intent: that mankind would abide in God and retain His image for the benefit of all of God’s creation.
Sin entered the world with the serpent’s temptation. It not only ruined the relationship between Eve and her husband Adam, but it also destroyed the relationship human beings had with their creator God.
A wedding shows the abiding care our Lord has for his people. God sent a Savior to His people, a Savior who would redeem us from sin and death and give us new life in this world and the promise of life eternal. Jesus blessed holy matrimony by His presence at a wedding and wedding celebration in a town called Cana. The death and Resurrection of Jesus restored our relationship with God. It also means the beginning of the restoration of God’s image in His people through Holy Baptism. The full restoration will only be accomplished on the Last Day, at the Resurrection of all flesh. In the meantime, we are given to forgive one another. No relationship, no marriage, could survive without the forgiveness of sins.
A wedding shows the abiding care our Lord has for his people. A wedding is an act of creation. Look what God is creating! We have here a new union, a new household, a new family. Danielle and John, take special care of Sierra, Alexis, Faith, John, and Destiny. Raise them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. Give them abiding love and care following the example of Our Father who art in heaven. Bring them to the services of the Lord’s house. Some need brought for Holy Baptism. All of us need to grow in faith and knowledge of God’s Word. Nourish their faith and your own with family devotions. Receive the Lord’s gifts together as a family. Eat together. Play together. Pray together. Forgive one another as God in Christ has already forgiven you.

A wedding shows the abiding care our Lord has for his people. God provides His Word and Sacraments as Gifts to us. The Lord isn’t out to spoil your fun. He wants to give you His blessings. Often, the ways of this world and practices tolerated or encouraged by our culture come into conflict with the Lord’s Word and Will and Ways. We can’t go wrong when we receive His blessings as He intended, and gladly hear and do His Word, even if it means changing our whole lives.

John and Danielle began preparations for their wedding day before I arrived. They discovered that premarital preparation, often called “counseling,” involved more than merely planning for one day. It mean planning for a whole life together, a marriage, intended to last as long as they both shall live.
As they studied God’s Word with their vacancy pastor, in repentance and with faith in the promises of Christ, they received the Lord’s forgiveness and took the opportunity to further amend their lives by taking their formal wedding vows early, on March 29th.
Yes, they are already man and wife in the eyes of the Lord and the State of Wyoming. The two of them chose to delay sharing this happy news until this special day, when we all can celebrate the gift of holy matrimony and the family they are becoming in Christ.
Therefore, Danielle and John will affirm their vows before you all today.

Welcome to their special day. Celebrate with them and rejoice in the abiding care of the Lord. Amen.

The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.