Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sermon: Wedding of Trey and Aimee Ledbetter

18 December 2010 at Salem Lutheran Church, Gretna, LA

Text: Eph 5:1-2, 22-33

In the name of + Jesus. Amen.

Dear Trey and Aimee, family and friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, and guests. What an extraordinary privilege it is for all of us to take part in today’s miracle. For it truly is a miraculous thing when two people, a man and a woman, somehow, someway, by God’s providence and grace, find one another, unite as one, and take part in the sacred act of joining in Holy Matrimony.

Our Lord created them as two individuals, and now they become one flesh. Our Lord brought both of these His dear children into the world, and now they will be His instruments to bring other dear children into the world. And it begins here, in the sacred space where sinners are forgiven, where new Christians are baptized, where the Lord’s people consume the Lord’s body and blood, and where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed. For this is a place of good news and of divine promises.

Aimee, you will promise to do something so politically incorrect that some churches have censored this part out of the vows that come directly from the Bible; you will promise to “submit” to your husband “as the Church submits to Christ.” This does not mean that you will always agree with him, or like his decisions. But in Christian marriage, the husband is the head of the family. Out of love, you will sometimes grit your teeth and take a leap of faith with him – even if you do end up saying “I told you so” later on. For Trey is not perfect, but he will be your beloved husband. God has given him to you, and you are confessing before God and men that you trust him by withholding nothing from him.

Trey, you will promise to do something that is equally shocking in today’s culture; you will promise to love your wife even “as Christ loved… the Church” and “gave Himself up for her.” In other words, you are promising to give up anything and everything – even your very life – for the sake of your wife. This does not mean that you will always like surrendering things that you enjoy for the sake of your wife, but in Christian marriage, the husband places his dear wife above everything, except God Himself. Out of love, you will sometimes grit your teeth and take a leap of faith with her – even if you are occasionally the one saying “I told you so” later on. For Aimee is not perfect, but she will be your beloved wife. God has given her to you, and you are confessing before God and men that you trust her by withholding nothing from her.

And you will share many things – things that will make you rejoice and things that will make you mourn. But the good news is that you will rejoice and mourn together. And when both of you act in mutual love for each other, when both of you put away selfishness, you will lose nothing but will gain everything. You will see the world through two sets of eyes, and you will go through life in this fallen world as a team. There will be times when you will prop one another up – physically, mentally, and spiritually. There will be times when you will struggle. But again, your struggle will be together – even on those days when it seems that the entire world is arrayed against you. And it is on those days when married life is the greatest blessing in the world.

But we are not here on this day to look into future anniversaries (and may they be many and happy) but rather to give you our blessing in the present as you take this leap of faith together on this most wonderful and blessed day.

“This mystery is profound” as St. Paul teaches us. For married life is a peek into the love that God the Father has for us, the commitment Christ has for us, the pledge of life given to us by the Lord and giver of life Himself, the Holy Spirit. And just as the three persons of God are one, so too Trey and Aimee will henceforth be one.

And, Trey and Aimee, the Lord will be with you. He created you, called you as His own, redeemed you, worked out His will so that you would find one another, and He will abide with you in every triumph and every trial. If it is His will that you become parents, He will bless you with exactly the right children for you, foreknown before the foundation of the world, and He will provide for all that you need. For the love that you have for one another is a tiny window into the love He has for you.

Therefore, pray for one another, and “outdo one another in showing honor.” And when you fall short, ask for forgiveness, and even more importantly, offer forgiveness. For “love covers a multitude of sins.” Finally, let us all, married and single alike, pay heed to St. Paul’s advice to those of us who walk by faith and who live by grace in the shadow of the cross: “Be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love.”

Blessings and peace to you, dear Trey and Aimee, and you take those first steps together from this time and place, and even as you make your way unto eternity. Amen.

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

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