Such a lovely room

Such a lovely room

Sunday, September 2, 2018

The Marriage of Amanda and Brandon

A Marriage of Smiths
September 1, 2018
Ephesians 5:1-2, 22-33
Colossians 3:12-17
John 15:9-12

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

So, I'm going to let you in on a little secret.  Usually, when I give couples the options to choose for the readings at their wedding, I intentionally leave out that reading from Ephesians.  You know, the one we heard a few minutes ago, with that stuff about wives be subject to your husbands and all that?  And the reason I leave it out of the list is because we are apt to misinterpret Paul’s words, unless we also have a two-hour sermon so the preacher can unpack it for us.  Since Amanda and Brandon have chosen that as one of the readings, settle in for some preaching, everybody!

I’m kidding, of course.  I’m just not going to talk about that reading today.  There isn’t time.  But the reason I can ignore that text is because these two have also chosen an excellent text from John’s gospel, where Jesus talks about his commandment to us.  Normally when we hear the word commandment, we assume there’s going to be some complicated lesson telling us how to behave, or what to eat, or what to believe.  And we probably all carry in our minds the expectation that a commandment is followed by a threat of punishment.  So, okay, Jesus is going to give us a commandment.  What is this thing that Jesus wants us to do, on top of all the other things we’ve already been told we’re supposed to do?  We’re ready Jesus:  give us the bad news . . .

And Jesus says, "This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”  Seriously?  That’s it?  Nothing about shellfish or coveting or gluttony?  Nothing about adultery in our hearts and killing with evil thoughts?  Just . . . love one another?  Oh, wait.  Love one another as you have loved us.  You knew there had to be a catch, right?  We’ve got to see what it means to love like Jesus loves.  So, let’s consider the question:  How does Jesus love us?

Ah.  And this gets us right back to why we are gathered here today, and maybe why Amanda and Brandon chose this verse for today’s reading.  Jesus loves us unconditionally.  Whether we are rich or poor.  In sickness and in health.  For better or for worse, you cannot make Jesus stop loving you.  You’re stuck with him, whether you like it or not.  Jesus will always love you.

And that’s what makes this such a perfect thing to hear on such a happy occasion.  Jesus calls us to love one another as he has loved us.  It obviously applies to the couple getting married.  But it applies to all of us as well.  You want to know the best wedding gift you could give these two?  The best gift is for you to love them.  Unconditionally.  Support them in their love for one another.  Forgive them, encourage them, walk with them, and love them.  And together, let us wish them many, many happy years together.


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