Derek Griede and Lindsay WilkholmSeptember 6th, 2015 - San Diego, CA
Ephesians 5:22-33; 1 Corinthians 13
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.
I have to admit; it’s a little surreal being in this church today with you both, doing a wedding in the very same place Natasha and I were married 10 years ago.
And on that particular day, the pastor that married us told us to remember three things, which he proceeded to tell us, of course. And you know what I remember? Only that he told us to remember three things.
But this day isn’t about me…
So I’m only going to tell you both to remember one thing.
It’s not your love that sustains your marriage; it’s Jesus’ love for you.
You see, Jesus doesn’t want you for a sunbeam; he wants you to live in his forgiveness, life, and salvation. You are the house; Jesus’ death and resurrection - his love - is your foundation. He is the Bridegroom who loves you unto death; and you along with all Christians, are his bride – pure, holy, and forgiven. And you are a family now; but he is the one, who in the words of Psalm 68: “God settles the solitary in a home.” You are not alone. You have each other. You have Ben. You have an amazing extended family. And most important of all, you have Christ – and above all, Christ has and holds you.
But just in case you enjoy the reception a little too much or today is a blur of joyous emotions, I’ll make it even easier for you guys. Simply remember this one word: agape. Love.
Agape is an unconditional love. Agape is God’s love for us in Jesus. Agape is pure gift. Agape is grace. Agape is Jesus sacrificing himself for us on the cross to make us his holy bride, spotless, without wrinkle or blemish or sin. Agape is what God says he is. And Agape is what Jesus fills the union of man and woman with as well.
After all, God’s Word declares…
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself her Savior… Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
And so as strange is it may sound, today isn’t really about you guys either, or at least not you guys alone by yourselves. Marriage isn’t about a love-buzz. It’s about Christ’s love for you.
Oh yes, you’re getting married…
You make vows, exchange rings, and the two become one flesh as our Lord commands and promises. These are no small promises and vows you make today.
But the promises that Jesus makes for the two of you in his dying and rising are even bigger.
Bigger than our… good days and bad days – days that are all apologies, our sickness and our health, our financial worries, mistakes, failures, selfishness, pride, frustration – yes, even bigger than our sin, and even bigger than our love. God’s love covers the multitude of our sins. And that’s especially true in marriage. You live together in Jesus’ love and forgiveness.
You see the thing about Agape is that it cannot be created or manufactured on our own. Agape love doesn’t just happen. Agape is given. And Jesus is the one who gives it freely for you and for all.
It’s Jesus’ love that sustains your marriage, not your own. So, Derek, you love Lindsay because Christ first loved you. And Lindsay, you love Derek because Christ first loved you.
For Jesus’ love for you is patient and kind. Jesus’ love for you does not envy or boast. Jesus’ love for you is not arrogant or rude. Jesus’ love for you does not insist on his own way. Jesus’ love for you bears all things and endures all things. Jesus’ love for you never ends.
In a way, that old Beatles song is right. All you need is love. All you need is Agape. All you need is Jesus’ love for you.
In the Name of + Jesus. Amen.