Tellan and Marissa, Genesis reveals the beginning of all things; there we see three important characteristics of God: the Speaking God…the Creative God…the Redeeming God.
Creation has a pattern. God speaks…His word creates. It isn’t that things become. He speaks…things are. And as He creates He redeems. Light reveals the chaos the darkness hid. He names things…day and night.
Sin entering the world changed everything. As opposed to waters of chaos, all creation was burdened with the chaos of sin. But God promised redemption from sin, and that is why we are here. Redemption came in Jesus Christ, the Son of God and our Savior, and we are given a picture of that redemption…Christ as bridegroom taking the church of His redeemed as His bride. This wedding is a picture of that, a miniature. Weddings…and marriage…are all about Jesus.
Soon God will pronounce you man and wife. Everything changes. God speaks…His word creates. Let there be light. Let there be Mr. and Mrs. Tellan L. And His creating spoken word defines. The light He called day and the darkness night. Tellan He called husband and Marissa wife. To quote one celebrated scholar, “None of us are what we think we are but what God knows we are.” Husband-ness and wife-ness will be at the core of your beings…because that is who and what God says you are.
So, two-of-you-become-one…new creation. Something that is not will suddenly be. And I know that the two of you look forward to that, with eager anticipation. But like newly-created earth’s fallen first couple, King Adam and Queen Eve, King Tellan and Queen Marissa will deal with the chaos of sin in your new creation, because you are both sinners, redeemed by the blood of Christ, but sinners nevertheless. You don’t know the depths of each other’s sin. And if I can speak in terms of math functions, in marriage sin is not additive, but multiplicative. Left too long…it becomes exponential. Each of you will fail in your calling…as husband…as wife. Jesus Christ died for those sins, and full measure of His glory will be seen in His forgiving you, and you forgiving each other. Rejoice in success and rejoice in failure that shows forth the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ in His abundant forgiveness and yours. See each other through eyes of faith… confident that God will finish that good work once started. Remember that He died to secure the obligations of your marriage vows. You have vowed to Him first, soon you will vow to each other. Your obligations will not depend upon those of your soon-to-be spouse; they will depend upon Jesus Christ and His faithfulness.
Yes…the spoken creating word of God will speak redemption into your marriage. God purposes to conform each of you into the image of His Son. What is more, your marriage, today and as long as you both shall live, is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church; through it God will speak redemption to the world.
[To the Congregation]
Tellan is to lay down his life for Marissa, as Christ did for His church. Tellan cannot pay the penalty for Marissa’s sin, nor does he need to …Jesus did that for both. By God’s grace may Tellan lay his life down that Marissa might become more like Jesus, showing forth loveliness reflecting Christlikeness. The first step, though, will be dealing with his own sin. He has vowed to Christ to love and cherish in accordance with God’s ordinance. Tellan’s obligations are secured by Christ’s blood, and can only be properly fulfilled as he looks to Christ and becomes more like Him.
Marissa is to be that holy woman, that daughter of Sarah. Tellan has a mission…the moving forward and growth of the Kingdom of God, in sub-mission to the mission of Jesus and his Church. As Tellan’s God-given counterpart, she must be in godly sub-mission to Tellan’s mission. That will require her to be adorned in heart with the incorruptible beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit. She, for her part, has vowed to Jesus to do just that, and her obligations have also been bought and paid for on the cross.
Jesus Christ came to this earth to pay a debt, that debt of sin that none of us could pay on our own. He came to buy Himself a bride, His Church. And He will make His Church glorious, without wrinkle or blemish or any such thing. Marriage is a picture of that, a miniature. And all of us who are married, or will be married, tell the truth or tell a lie about Christ as we marry and as we live in our marriages. May our marriages tell the truth; where they do not let us repent and follow Christ more closely. And may this marriage become ever moreso a picture of Christ’s redemption as they live in their marriage faithfully…which you have vowed to help them do.
Tellan and Marissa…
- may Christ be glorified in you, on your lips and in your lives;
- by God’s power and Spirit may you live the truth in your marriage; and
- may your descendants possess the gates of Christ’s enemies.
In the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.