May the words of my mouth, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in Thy sight,
O Lord, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen.
“Love that endures”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Bride's Name) and (Groom's Name). Family and friends, we have gathered to celebrate their love for each other, and to give thanks to God for the new life they are about to begin as man and woman in Christ – a life centered in Christ and in His love. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul tells us about love in Christ.
First, love does. Love is more than a feeling and emotion. Love is action. Love speaks one to another. But speech without love is just a bunch of noise. Love is powerful. You can do a lot, Paul says, but without love you’’ll just be moving dirt, making mountains out of molehills. Without love, we don’t accomplish anything. But love does.
Love does, and love endures. That is, love puts up with. Love bears all things. After every wedding comes a marriage. And in married life – in daily life – there is lots to bear. A wedding has a banquet and dancing. Marriage has dirty dishes to wash and lawns to mow. But love endures.
Listen to the words of Paul about what love does, how it endures. Love is patient, love is not rude. Love is not irritated or resentful. How does love do this? Because love does not insist on its own way.
And insisting on our own way is the essence of sin. God made a perfect man and a perfect woman and put them in a perfect garden. But instead of obeying God and walking in righteousness, man insisted on his own way. And because of the Fall, all of us are curved in on ourselves. We are the focus of us. But such is not the way of love.
Where do we find such love? In the cross of Christ. Jesus Christ did it all, because love does. Jesus Christ endured all – bearing the pain, suffering and shame of the cross, because love endures. The apostle John writes, ‘in this the love of God was made known to us, that God sent His only Son into the world that we might live through Him.” (1 John 4:9)
You, (Name) and (Name), live in Christ and His love lives in you. The love of Christ is a love that unites and heals. Even as His love heals us of sin and unites us with the Father, so too, not your love, but His love, unites you with each other. There will be times when your love will not endure, that you will be impatient, irritable, or insist on your own way. But His love, which has endured all things, is a love which endures, that is, a love which does not end.
Throughout this marriage, live your lives centered in Christ and His love. For
Love in Christ is strong and living.
Binding faithful hearts in one.
Love in Christ is true and giving.
May His will in you be done.
("Love in Christ is strong and living," Lutheran Service Book 706)
For Christ has died. Christ is risen. And Christ shall come again.
S. D. G.