Monday, August 10, 2009

Something Old..New...Borrowed...Blue

Wedding Homily for Aaron and Kristen/August 8, 2009/First Lutheran Church, Sioux Falls, SD.

Lessons: Colossians 3:12-17; Philippians 2:1-4 and 4:4-9; John 15:9-12

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue…
You’re wearing all those things, right, Kristen? I’ve been dropping hints for months now that you better do that. You need to be wearing something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.—for good luck, of course, on your wedding day. (Aaron—you’re off the hook on this one. It’s a “bride thing.” Just nod, smile and agree-- OK?)

For over four centuries, you see, brides have been meeting grooms at altars with something old (representing the legacy of your ancestors), something new (pointing you to your future), something borrowed (because you owe so much to so many) and something blue….blue because..well…because “blue” rhymes with “new” and this is a poem, don’tcha know?

Well that’s all kind of fun stuff, but I’m here to tell you that you guys are going to need a lot more than luck to make this marriage-thing work. And fortunately Someone is here today who has brought, is bringing and will continue to bring you more than good luck.

God is here today, and that’s the best news of all. God has showed up for your wedding day.

And God intends to keep showing up in your new life together as husband and wife.

And because God never shows up empty-handed, God brings gifts along for the ride….four gifts in particular. Think of them as your first four wedding gifts—and you don’t even have to wait until tomorrow to open them up. No—God is plopping them down in your laps right here, right now.

First, God has something OLD for you--older than the hills, in fact. It’s your identity as children of God. Before the first star began to twinkle God was thinking of you, scheming and finagling how to call you forth, claim you and reclaim you in Christ, and make you his precious children forever.

Your reading from Colossians addresses you as “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” because that’s who you are in the eyes of the One who countsmore than anyone else. God has promised “from of old” to be your God, to lay hold of you, and give you a future without end in Jesus Christ.

How awesome it is that you’re wearing this identity so publicly today, in a service of worship (not a “chapel of love” ceremony), anchored in God’s grace and centered in the Holy Communion that will be your first meal as husband and wife.

God also has something NEW wrapped up for you today, and that’s the gift of forgiveness. In your marital toolbox, dear children, there is nothing more useful! But please notice: this forgiveness must always be new, because—believe me!—you’ll need a fresh supply of it every day.

Here’s why forgiveness has to be ever-new: it’s because you’re both sinners--precious, lovable, treasured, really very cool sinners….but sinners, through and through!....and I could provide rich documentary evidence of that fact….but I won’t!

If all goes well in your marriage you will live together with such honesty and abandon that there’ll be no hiding just how good you both are at sinning!

Aaron, because he’s a guy, will regularly need some “cave bear” time, as all men do. And Kristen, because she’s a girl, will need to tell Aaron everything on her mind, even when Aaron’s heard it all before…and you’ll both drive each other nuts and wonder why you ever thought you could love each other for a whole lifetime...

Then, precisely then, you’ll need a daily dose of the kind of fresh forgiveness that only God gives. Yesterday’s forgiveness will not do—yesterday’s forgiveness is like stale pizza with green mold on it in the back of the fridge!

God doles out forgiveness in daily doses like bread, water, oxygen, cell phone minutes and all the other necessities of life. God intends for you to share only NEW words, only FRESH declarations of forgiveness to one another.

To the something OLD and something NEW, God also adds something BORROWED: the best hand-me-down there is: the “you-first” love we call agape.

Now I realize that love might not seem to be “on loan” because it feels like it just springs up from deep inside you….especially that romantic, tingly, electric love of newlyweds….but what God wants for you today is more than the passionate chemistry of young love. God intends that you abide in a deeper love that will bind you together through thick and thin, the “you-first” love we call agape.

Your gospel reading from John speaks of this love’s “pass-it-on nature: “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you…” says Jesus, even as he adds a friendly command: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

God’s fourth gift to you is something BLUE…as in “true blue”--loyal, and dependable. This something BLUE is God’s gift of faithfulness, which is at the heart of marriage. It’s the most important word you’ll speak to each other today: “I promise to be faithful to you…”
Faithfulness is about more than “not cheating,” or not having a “wandering eye.” It’s about forsaking every person or thing that might come between you—forsaking even good stuff like work, study, pastimes or good causes—forsaking them whenever they might threaten your marriage.

God, who has “faithfulness” down pat, graciously imparts to you the gift of “true blue” faithfulness that will see you through all that is to come.

Your identity as children of God…fresh forgiveness….”you-first” love…and sturdy faithfulness—something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Aren’t God’s gifts better than any old “good luck charms?” They’re your first wedding gifts—from God’s own hand—and as you live into these gifts you will receive the full, free, rich life God has in store for you--this day and always.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...this brought a tear to my eye as I imagined my own daughter and future son-in-law hearing these words. I hope that their own pastor has good words of wisdom too.