Saturday, June 15, 2013

Psalm 127:1a; Wedding of Lori and Kevin Peyton; June 15, 2013;

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1a, ESV)

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Well, Lori and Kevin, it's finally here! The wait was long… But it's worth it. Because today is a very important day in your lives. It's the day that that the creator of this institution—Jesus Christ will join you together as man and wife. Remember how we talked about a man leaving his father and mother being joined to his wife to become one flesh? That's what will become of you two today. God is gluing you  together for a lifetime. When God glues us there should be nothing that separates us. So from now on God has given you to each other for help and support; for better or for worse; for richer for poorer; as long as you both shall live. This is an important day for both of you. In fact, some people will say this is the most important day of your lives. It may seem that way because of everything that goes along with the wedding. It certainly is one of the most planned days in your whole lives. I know because I got the schedule in email the other day. But even though today is an important day. It's not nearly as important as every other day after this one. In fact, every day you live together is more important than the last. Because marriage is determining by the grace of God every day to love and forgive your spouse.

And... I've got a bit of bad news for you. You can't do it no matter how hard you try. Don't be surprised I said that. I've been married to my wife for 31 years. We can't do it either. You and I, Kevin and Lori, are the same. It has to do with what the Bible says about us. We are sinful people. And sinful people stuck together in one place for a long time will certainly sin against each other. There is one sure thing  about marriage. It gives you a person that you will sin against more than anyone else. In the marriage vow's we say "for better or for worse" well that's the "worse".

That's why I picked this verse for you. Psalm 127:1a.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1a, ESV)

Sin is why are having this service in this church today. Because God is building a house by putting you two together, sinful as you are. And we know that unless God builds your house, your marriage, is doomed to failure. So how does God build a house?

God builds a house with ingredients like a contractor does with love and forgiveness. We usually think of love as that ewie gooie feeling that we get when we are with a particular person. And those feelings are important. God gave those feelings for the building of a house. They are wonderful gifts to live in. But they're only a minor part of what love really is. Love is a verb. In a marriage especially love is living for your spouse. In a marriage love is doing the thing that is best for your spouse. In a marriage love is considering your spouse more important than yourself. The Bible tells us that a woman is to submit to her husband and her husband is to give himself to his wife. It's a description of love at work in the lives of God’s children. The wife giving herself and living for her husband. And the husband giving himself and living for his wife. And the two shall become one flesh God says in Genesis. Love is self sacrificing.

The other part of building a house, and even more important, is forgiveness. There's no way for two sinful people living together in the bonds of marriage for any period of time without forgiveness. The old saying is true I speak from experience and you can ask any married couple and they will tell you the same (goes) "you only hurt the one you love". It's true. You will  hurt one another (although it seems impossible with all the frills of the wedding right near at hand). You will make decisions and forget to take into account your spouse. You will flare up in anger and say the thing that hurts. You will forget something that's "really" important to her. You will forget to take out the trash after the TV show is over even though you said you would. There is no way to solve the problem of sinning against one another. There is only forgiveness. It's forgiveness that God uses to build a house that stands.

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. (Psalm 127:1a, ESV)

So God uses these tools love and forgiveness to build a house. So what does he say about love?

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10, ESV)

Jesus is the one who loves perfectly. He loves you beyond your ability to understand. He comes to be the atoning sacrifice for your sins. What that means is that he builds a relationship with you by removing punishment for your sin. Because it is sin that separates you from God and one another. You are no longer separated from God because of your sins when you have a relationship with him. God gives Jesus, that is himself, as the sacrifice for your sin. The word propitiation means to remove anger. Jesus self-sacrificing love removes anger. Because Jesus loves you, you are able to love one another. And as you give yourself to each other in love God builds your house.

Jesus also forgives you through his life, death, and resurrection. And since you have forgiveness, and a relationship with him, you can use forgiveness to build a relationship with someone else. And so God has made a marriage the first place where we practice forgiveness. He gives it to you and you give it to each other. And in fact you can only forgive because God first forgives you through Jesus death on the cross. And so God uses forgiveness to build your house.

Today, by the grace of God and by His Spirit you will be taught how to practice building a house together:

Turn and look at each other. Hold hands. Kevin repeat after me. Lori, I forgive you in the name of Jesus. Lori repeat after me. Kevin I forgive you in the name of Jesus. It's that easy. And don't forget to use those very words.

Oh, there's one more thing. As God uses love and forgiveness to build your house he uses you to show the world what he has done. Kevin and Lori, as you practice self giving love and forgiveness you are painting a picture of what God does for the world in Jesus Christ. It is in fact one of the most important things about marriage. In his letter to the Ephesians (Eph 5:24-32), St. Paul goes to great lengths to describe marriage as a unity of body and soul of the husband and wife. Then in the end he says "oh by the way, this is a profound mystery and it refers to Christ and the church." In other words, marriage is a picture of the self-sacrificing love and forgiveness that God gives to people through everything that Jesus did and does even today. He became a human being. He was born of the Virgin Mary. He lived a complete and full human life. His life was different than ours because his was without sin. He lived in a perfect relationship with God. And then his life was given on the cross as the punishment for the whole world’s sin. So, Kevin and Lori, by the Spirit of Christ that dwells in you, use the tools you have received, love one another and sacrifice for each other, and when you fail, forgive. Because God uses that to build your house and show the world Jesus. Amen.

No comments: