Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Wedding Homily

Elizabeth Hurt to Ian Lamont
First Baptist Church
Reception at Forest Road UMC
July 18, 2015

Homily- Christ and the  Church

Ephesians 5:22-33
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.  23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:  30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

Gen. 1:1-5, 26-28,
         Gen. 1:1   In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3   And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.  4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.  5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
The Bible starts out in a wonderful way. In the beginning, God.
This is where we must all start. God is. God is the creator and our identity and vocation flows from this fact. We owe our existence to Him and so we are obligated to do what He tells us to do.
In the beginning, God spoke and it was so.
First of all, God created light, that light that shines in the darkness. He created the waters above and below, the Earth and the Sea, the sun and moon and stars and He knows them all by name. He created sea creatures and birds. He created cattle and everything that creeps on the Earth. And it was all good. And finally, He created man and woman and He said that it was all very good.

Gen. 1:26   And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.  28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
God has given us marching orders. We are to bear His image in the Earth. We are to be creators, like God. We are to fill the earth with goodness, goodness as between a man and woman, and truth, truth between a husband and a wife and beauty, beauty revealed in a lovely garden with a faithful gardener. A faithful Christian marriage reveals this goodness, truth and beauty.
Furthermore, as God blesses, we are to bring forth children to help us fulfill the dominion mandate in the Earth, to be fruitful and multiply and to fill the Earth with the knowledge of the Lord.
So, we have these two things in mind as we think about the glory of marriage. First, mankind is to bear the image of God and second, He is to fill the Earth with the knowledge of the Lord as the water covers the sea.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that marriage reveals a great truth, the glory that is Christ and His Church. For the man is to love His wife as Christ loves the church and the woman is to revere her husband as the Church reveres Christ.
These are not merely ideals that the Lord sets before us. They are facts, as true as creation. A husband is a Christ figure. A wife is a picture of the Church. This is what God has done in the Earth. Will we honor God in obedience, or not?
All marriages testify of Christ and the Church. Marriage is the symbol of that reality. But does the symbol speak truth? To the extent that a man and woman follow after Christ, their marriage will reveal His glory. To the extent that they disdain His Word, their marriage will reveal a lie about Christ and His Church.
Christ is the ever-faithful husband. His bride will be perfected without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.
These two standing here have covenanted with God, with one another and with you as witnesses to testify of this truth. This is impossible in human strength. No man is as perfect as Christ. No woman is as glorious as Christ’s Church. But thanks be to God that they are not called to speak in their own voices, in their own names or by their own strength. They are called and sent to this task in Jesus Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit, with the ever abundant supply of God’s grace. In this way, they will reveal the glory that is Christ and His Church and do their part to fill the Earth with the knowledge of the glory of Christ. Amen.

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