Thought you might be encouraged to live worthy of your marriage today… two lives that have come together as one… so here’s the message I gave to a beautiful new couple last Saturday… [Blessings, Chris and Mayra!]
Chris and Mayra, glory be to God! May your roots go down deep together into the soil of Christ’s marvelous love. You know, by his mighty power at work within you two, he is able to accomplish infinitely more than you could ever dare to ask or hope.
Your wedding today represents so much of what a marriage is intended to be. Two lives, from different backgrounds, different cultures, different experiences, brought together by God in union. It’s as if you have been uprooted and you are now going to plant your lives together to produce something beautiful and alive. The richness of your stories and paths that you have taken are joined together today. Mayra, all that you are, all the Columbian heritage and family and background that is represented in you, is today being offered to Chris. You are saying today, “Chris, I love you. All that I am is yours.” And Chris, your commitment to Mayra today is of the same splendor. Today you are saying, “Mayra, all of me, all of my Canadian history, all of my experiences, all of my breath, is given to you today.”
It’s like you were each on two different roads in two different parts of the earth- on two different continents- that somehow met at a Bucaramanga intersection of life in this bustling, busy world… and now you are joining together in one direction on one journey. You are both merging onto one lane and hopping into the same car together.
The Apostle Paul, who wrote that amazing passage in Ephesians that Dave read for us, wanted to point out to the people who had gotten to know Jesus how God had united them together. The Ephesians were made up of people with completely different backgrounds. They were of all kinds of levels of wealth or poverty, health or sickness, languages, ideas, and knowledge from all over the world. And yet here they found themselves somehow becoming one- uniting into what would become one of the most influential and important and inspirational mergers the world has ever known. Paul could see God’s hand in this amazing miracle of union. It was like a holy marriage. So he said to them, “It is the Lord who has brought you together and it is the Lord who is blending you together and it is the Lord who will keep you together. You have all merged into one lane together. Don’t ever take an off ramp!”
So in Ephesians chapter 4, Paul says, “Because of all this, I urge you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.
Chris and Mayra. Today, I urge you: lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. As you are both called by one name, as you share your name together, lead a life worthy of that one name. Keep it honored and sacred. Chris, never forget that Mayra is a gift of grace to you. Treasure her always and live a life worthy of her. Mayra, never forget that Chris is a promise of blessing to you. Have and hold him for all your days in a manner worthy of God’s blessing upon you. Be humble towards one another, learning to serve one another. Be gentle. Too many marriages fail because the spouses become too hard hearted- and too hard on one another. Please, both of you, make allowance for each other’s faults. I know it’s hard to believe right now, but there will probably be times when something wrong happens or a comment doesn’t come out right and there is a good chance that it is going to be the fault of one of you… or both of you. Chris, we joked last night that you should get used to saying “lo siento.” Mayra… Chris might leave the toilette seat up or because he is a technical communications officer he might occasionally get too technical with his communications. Please make allowance for his faults. Love him as Jesus does. And Chris, I know it’s impossible to even consider, but once every five years or so, Mayra might possibly be wrong about something. It may not happen… but just in case… make allowance for her faults. Love her as Jesus does. Look, you will have times in the years ahead that will be difficult. Now I actually think you both could have a fantastic marriage. But even a fantastic marriage experiences the struggles and pains of life. That’s why we vow for richer for poorer in sickness and in health. Just because you’re married doesn’t mean you’re perfect. In fact, a good marriage seems to expose our faults, our sins, our wrongs to each other. In those times, stay united in the Holy Spirit. Remember to smile and be patient and humble and gentle and to forgive because you love each other. Do this and you will be united and flourishing together and be a model of marriage that will inspire many many others.
I pray today that you will aim together for your destination… which is the fullness of life that comes from God. As you are rooted in him together you will flourish. It’ll be a great ride together!
So, what Paul said to the Ephesians in chapter 4, he would say to you today, “Chris and Mayra, you are now one body, you have the same Holy Spirit, and you have been called to the same glorious future. Remember, there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and there is only one God and Father, who is over us all and in us all and living through us all.”
May you both experience the oneness of the love of Christ today and forevermore. What God has brought together, what God is uniting, may no one tear apart. AMEN. Blessings on you, Chris and Mayra.