+ Wedding of Jeb and Danae Ferria – July 25th, 2013 +Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Colossians 3:12-17
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
There’s a saying in the Harry Potter books that goes like this: “A wizard never chooses his wand, the wand chooses the wizard.”
The same could be said for Bible verses at weddings. The couple may think they are choosing the Bible verse. But perhaps the Bible verse is choosing them. In other words, it is our Lord who works upon us through his word, not the other way around. And today this passage from Colossians 3 has chosen Jeb and Danae’s ears – and our ears – for the hearing of it God’s Word:
12 Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
It would seem that our Lord works the same way too. It is not us who choose the Lord, but he who chooses us. It’s true for eternal life. We are God’s chosen ones. Called out of the darkness of our sin, guilt and death into the light and freedom won for us by Christ’s death on the cross. For he has a compassionate heart that bled for us, is full of kindness poured out in mercy for us, was humble unto death for us. What’s more, Jesus dwells with us in forgiveness.
And what our Lord says about his Son’s life, death and resurrection and forgiveness, love and our salvation is also true of marriage. Today, it may look like Jeb and Danae are choosing to be married to one another. And on one level that is true. They are companions, best friends, now they will be husband and wife as well. They love one another. They live in forgiveness with one another. Their life together is a blessing to one another and their families and friends. And they do all this because Christ first loved them.
So, today, it’s not just that Jeb and Danae have chosen each other, but more importantly, that our Lord and Savior has chosen, first in Baptism by calling them to faith Christ. And now, today, He them and places them into this union of holy marriage. Today Christ chooses you, Jeb and Danae to be his bride. For he is your bridegroom. He is your faithful Savior. He will have and hold you from this day forward in sickness and in health, in good times and bad, in richness or poverty; he will love and cherish you not just till death, but forever. For even death will not separate you from the love of God which is yours in Christ Jesus. Today Christ pledges you his faithfulness. And this strand of three cords – Jeb, Danae and Christ – is not quickly broken.
And so it is for all of us. We are Christ’s chosen people. We are His beloved. For Christ loves you – his people, the church – in this way. He gave himself up for you, sacrificed himself, was humbled unto death for you – to present you in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or sin or guilt or any such thing. You are Christ’s. He has chosen you. You are forgiven. You are loved. Now love and forgive much.
14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.