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A Wedding Sermon (sort of)


In a nine day period I will have presided at two weddings, one funeral, a “regular” Sunday morning, and preached at a chapter retreat of the Society of the Holy Trinity (at which, to compound the stress, the presenter will be focused on preaching).  The first wedding – to lead off the 9 day jaunt – was the marriage of one of my best friends growing up and his bride.  This is what I did NOT say:

I have modified it, so parts may be choppy, but this is the direction I went…

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help. 11Again, if two lie together, they keep warm; but how can one keep warm alone? 12And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Colossians 3:12-13 12 As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. 13Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.

Notice:  While those first verses in Ecclesiastes are focused on the benefit of two, the passage ends with the importance of three.  Not much thought is given right now about the third person in your relationship.  That’s expected.  And there are a lot of benefits of two; but without the third, things will never be complete; will never be as strong.  God is the third part of the cord; making a threefold cord which is not quickly broken.

God gave to you the ability, the capacity, to love, to put one another ahead of yourself.  You would not be here today, were it not for the love of God in Christ Jesus.  That love is vital for your relationship; it is necessary; but it is not sufficient to make your marriage last.

The three most important words you will ever say to one another are not, “I love you”.  There are all kinds of people who love one another whose marriages have failed.  The three most important words are this:  I forgive you.  Forgiveness is both necessary and sufficient for a marriage to last.  And again, like love, forgiveness comes because God has first forgiven us.

When you wrong – when you sin – against one another – and you will – ask to be forgiven.  Say, “I’m sorry”.  And when you are the wronged party, don’t say, “Don’t worry about it” or “It’s okay”.  It isn’t okay!  If it was, there would be no need to seek forgiveness.  Instead, use those three most powerful words – I forgive you.  Because God has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus, we are forgiven people, called to be forgivers.

You are loved and forgiven children of the Heavenly Father and He has given to you the gifts of love and forgiveness, gifts to be shared generously with one another.  May God bless you in your new life together, and may love and forgiveness abound.  Amen.

*** I had to edit some things, but, hey, you get the general idea.


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