Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Wedding Sermon for Zach Oedewaldt and Amber Watson: "United"

+ Rite of Holy Matrimony – Zachary Oedewaldt and Amber Watson +
November 21st, 2015
Genesis 2:7, 18-25; Revelation 19:6-9; John 15:1-13

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

Some things are better together than by themselves. Chocolate and Peanut butter. Beer and pizza. Coffee and Donuts. However good these things are separately, they’re even better together.

But it’s not just food. Westley and Princess Buttercup. Mario and Princess Peach. Han Solo and Princess Leia. Some people are better together than alone.

It’s true in reality as well.

In Genesis the Lord declares the sun, moon, and stars; air, sea, and land; fish, birds, and animals– all to be good. Then the Lord formed Adam from the dust of the earth. Yet there was one thing God declared not good.

It is not good that the man should be alone.

So God did what he does best: he joined people together by his grace.
I will make him a helper fit for him. A companion for Adam, from Adam’s flesh – and all while he was sleeping. Adam did nothing to deserve Eve. Now there’s a great picture of marriage.

Zach and Amber, this how God works for you too – by grace. God gives you to one another to love, serve, raise a family, and joy and companionship. It’s not good for you to be alone.

And so in marriage, Jesus’ love abides with you, for you are united by his cross.

There’s the crux of marriage: Jesus crucified for you. Without Christ, you’re alone, no matter how happy you are together. But in Christ, you’re never alone, not in poverty or richness, not in sickness or health, not even when death parts you.

Jesus’ love abides with you. You are united in his cross.

God’s gift of earthly marriage is also a picture of a far greater, heavenly marriage with Christ.

As we celebrate with Zach and Amber at their wedding feast, we also see a glimpse of the marriage supper of the Lamb. And blessed are you who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

As handsome and beautifully dressed as Zach is and Amber are today, Jesus gives us a more glorious garment. For you, the Bridegroom was stripped, beaten, and crucified to clothe you in fine linens of righteousness. In Holy Baptism Jesus covers us with wedding garments of salvation. You’re holy and pure as Christ himself.

And as strong as Zach and Amber’s love is for one another, love won’t sustain us; rather, God’s love in Christ abides in us and through us. We love because Jesus first loved us. Christ is the Vine; we the branches. Christ is our second Adam; we are his Eve, given life from his flesh.

Out of Adam’s side, God took a rib and made Eve and brought her to him.

This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

So it is for Zach and Amber. Today you God unites you as one flesh. God does the same for all who are in Christ. For Go saw that it was not good for us to be alone in our sin.

God did what he does best: joined people together by grace. He sent Jesus, who is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, to live, suffer, and die for you. Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s side, so too, God makes for himself a bride – you, his church – from the pierced side of Jesus. He forms you in the stream of living water and holy precious blood poured out by Jesus for you. Jesus’ love abides with you. You are united in Jesus’ cross.

And so your love for one another isn’t found in dresses, flowers, or a fantastic reception – though these are all good things. No. Love is rubbing Amber’s feet after a long day of teaching. Love is pouring Zach a cold Sculpin IPA as you discuss plans for the future. Love is receiving Jesus’ body and blood for your forgiveness Sunday after Sunday. Love is putting each other’s needs ahead of your own. Love is in all the messy details of life. Love is found in the greatest love of all – Jesus crucified for you.

Greater love has no man than this, that Jesus lay down his life for sinners, to make us his friends. Jesus’ love abides with you. His cross covers you, covers your sin today, and all the days of your marriage.

Today, God does what he does best: joins people together by grace. Zach, you’re the Mario to this Princess Peach; defend her from all the Bowsers in the world just as Christ gave himself up for the Church. Amber, you’re the Princess Buttercup to this Westley; love and cherish him as Christ first loved you – by grace.

Indeed, some people are better together than alone. It’s true for Zach and Amber today. And it’s true for all of us in Christ.

Jesus’ love abides with you, and you are united by his cross.

God grant you his peace, joy and blessing in your life together. 

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

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