This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Grace and peace be yours in fullest measure, through the knowlesge of God and Jesus our Lord. Amen.
We have come together in the presence of God for the marriage of Kirk Shaun Wood and Jenny Ann Dodd, to share their joy, and to promise them our support and love.
Marriage is honorable and holy. It is founded in God's loving nature as part of God's purpose for humanity. It was provided by God for the comfort and happiness of man and woman, for the birth and nurture of children, and for the welfare of human society.
Marriage is to be entered into thoughtfully and reverently, and with a deep awareness of its sacred and enduring nature. It is a covenant between husband and wife which calls them to a new way of life, created, ordered, and blessed by God. This covenant is a serious and lifelong commitment to each other's good in a union of strength, sympathy, and delight.
Marriage was hallowed by our Lord's gracious presence at the marriage in Cana of Galilee.
It was given by God, blessed by our Lord Jesus Christ, and is sustained by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, let marriage be held in honor by all.
Kirk, will you receive Jenny as your wife: and bind yourself to her in the covenant of marriage?
Will you promise to love and honor her in true devotion, to rejoice with her in times
of gladness, to grieve with her in times of sorrow, and to be faithful to her as long as
you both shall live?
I will, with the help of God.
Jenny, will you receive Kirk as your husband: and bind yourself to him in the covenant
of marriage? Will you promise to love and honor him in true devotion, to rejoice with him
in times of gladness, to grieve with him in times of sorrow, and to be faithful to him as
long as you both shall live?
I will, with the help of God.
Will you, the family of Kirk and Jenny give your blessing to this new family? Will you
support it with your love and care?
Yes, we will. May God bless you both.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters by the mercies of God, to present your
bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so
that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with
outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:1 - 2. 9 - 18
Jenny and Kirk,
God is good! God has blessed you two richly by bringing you together, by keeping you together, by making your love grow. God has blessed all of us by bringing us here to witness this joyous event. And God will continue to bless you, and others, through your marriage. I want you to know that you honor and bless me by inviting me to share this time with you.
It's that idea of blessing that I'd like to spend just a few minutes focusing on. And I find great help in that with the scripture lesson Ijust read, from Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome.
Now when you heard Paul's words, you may have thought, indeed all of us here may have thought, "well what a perfect description of how a married couple should act toward each other." And you would be right. Paul's words are great advice for how a couple should treat each other:
Love one another genuinely, outdo one another in showing honor, be joyful, don't be vengeful, rejoice together and weep together, be patient. These are good words for you two to live by, as you navigate that adventure we call marriage.
But I would want to go farther with these words. Because as I see it, these words are not merely for how you two should be toward each other. They describe, even more, how you two, together, should be toward others. From them we can learn how a marriage should relate to others, outside that marriage.
What we learn, in other words, is something that may sound strange, if all we knew about marriage is what we picked up from the prevailing culture. Our society communicates an understanding of marriage that has become so embedded in our consciousness that it's hard to get beyond it, hard to think outside the box.
You see, society tells us (doesn't it?) that marriage is for the benefit of the married couple. Our culture understands romantic relationships solely in terms of the pleasure that the lovers derive from it. Not to be too harsh, but this understanding of marriage is self-centered and short sighted. Worse, romantic notions of love, with their stress on the couple all alone together, pleasurably loving and being loved for their own benefit, these notions are misleading; because they offer little sustenance for the long haul that is marriage.
And so I understand these verses as challenging us to get beyond those notions of marriage. Paul tells us, "don't be conformed to the world, but be transformed." For this happy day we might paraphrase him by saying, Don't buy what society tells us about marriage. Don't be snowed. Refuse to let your ideas of marriage be determined by the world around you.
So, I ask you to understand Paul's words as a description of how you two should live out your marriage as it relates to others. I believe that God's intention through marriage is to bless: surely you, but not only you, the married couple, but also the world. The strength of your marriage will be measured, I tell you, not only by how much of blessing you are to each other (which no doubt you will be!) but also by how much of a blessing you are to those with whom you interact: neighbors and strangers, friends and enemies, in good circumstances and in bad.
Two summers ago, some friends of mine went on vacation. They went up to Wisconsin, and traveled along the coast of Lake Michigan up into the Northern Peninsula of the state of Michigan, and then south along the other side of Lake Michigan. And what they were doing was touring lighthouses. They saw lots of lighthouses! They were all different shapes and sizes, and were painted differently, too. There was a great variety in these lighthouses.
Lighthouses are beautiful. We admire them for their appearance. And so it's easy to overlook why lighthouses are built in the first place: not primarily to be beautiful, but to guide ships and keep them from foundering on the rocks.
I believe that your marriage can and should exist to give you pleasure and to be a thing of beauty. But I also believe that any marriage has to be more than that if it is to be true to God's intention, and if it is to flourish. I believe that your marriage can be more. I believe that your marriage can become a lighthouse, a beacon to those around you, a blessing to those on whom its light shines.
Of course, to do that, to be a blessing to others, you have to allow yourselves to be blessed. And so, I encourage you, also, to let God bless the two of you. Let God in on your marriage. Include God in your hopes and dreams, amid yes, your fears and disappointments. Listen for God's leading; seek out God's will.
Kirk and Jenny, live out your marriage for God. Together live as beacons of God's love. Live as God's blessing to each other, and to all around you.
Jenny and Kirk, join your right hands, and in faith make your promises to each other.
I, Kirk, take you, Jenny, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live
I, Jenny, take you, Kirk, to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live
What do you bring as a sign of your promise?
The minister shall receive the ring for the bride from its bearer and may pray:
Bless, 0 Lord, the giving of this ring that he who gives it, and she who wears it, may live in love and faithfulness all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jenny, I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage. It is a token of our covenant before God and Man.
What do you bring as a sign of your promise?
The minister shall receive the ringfor tile groom from its bearer and may pray:
Bless, 0 Lord, the giving of this ring that she who gives it, and he who wears it, may live in love and faithfulness all their days, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Kirk, I give you this ring as a symbol of our marriage. It is a token of our covenant before God and Man.
Now that Kirk and Jenny have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands, and the giving of rings, they are now husband and wife.
Following the nuptial kiss/embrace, the minister continues:
Let no one come between those whom God has joined together. The power of God keep you, the love of God be in your life together, the grace of God strengthen your love that it may endure forever. Amen.
We have witnessed the wedding of Jenny and Kirk.
Let us keep them in our prayers
And encourage them with our love,
As we go in peace to love and serve Christ.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ
Be with all of you. Amen.