August 22 – Isaac & Melissa Wedding

Sermon – Isaac & Melissa Norman Wedding
22 August 2015
By Rev. Max Phillips
@South Padre Island, Texas

Texts:    Ecclesiastes 4:7-12
1 Corinthians 13
Genesis 2:7, 18-24

Dear Friends in Christ,

A few weeks ago, my father passed away and Isaac’s dad wrote a kind sympathy note and he mentioned that he had known my dad his whole life.  That kind of struck me.  It’s true!  It reminded me that I’ve known Isaac and his dad and his dad for my whole life.  Isaac and Melissa, today you are surrounded by folks you know, some for a while and many for your whole life.  Both of your family roots go down deep.

Let me tell you how deep.

Isaac you are connected to generations of farmers.  You grew up on the farm, the same one that your dad, granddad, great granddad farmed.  But your farm roots go much farther back than that.  The first human was a farmer and you are related.  You are still in the family business.  Adam was created out of the dirt and then mastered it.  God put in Adam’s farmyard and field every living thing.  You’ve kind of narrowed your farm down since way back then with only chickens, corn and soybeans.  Adam’s farm–that first farm, included as God’s word says “every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens.  Every plant of the field.”  He knew them all and he even named them.

Adam was the richest farmer that ever lived.  Everything, all livestock, each crop, every square inch of soil was his, a gift from God.  This is still the dream of many.  They want it all.  The word possession is important to them.  And they often give every square inch of their life for more stuff.  Adam had it all, but quickly realized he wasn’t rich.  What good is everything if you can’t share it?

Melissa, you are connected into that same first farming family today.  You didn’t grow up on a farm but you are entering into one of the most important created roles on earth and it’s a farm role.  Adam was rich in things but poor in spirit.  He wasn’t fulfilled, he wasn’t happy.  He was alone.  God loved him enough to share him with another human so he made another out of the first, his wife.

Wife is a really weak word.  It can mean whatever you want it to mean today.  It can mean married, or not.  Woman, or not.  But when God created Eve there was no ambiguity or weakness about it or about her.  She was the most beautiful creature, but her beauty went far beyond her appearance for she was physically strong, mentally sharp, smart-as-a-whip, in every way an able helper.  She was made from the same stuff as Adam and together they were the first farm family.  God put them together with the instinct to know what to do and the gifts they needed to build up each other’s lives and he instilled in them the desire to be a joy, each for the other.  The definition of wife as it was first used was simply, “the good part.”

Isaac, you are rooted in that first farmer.  Melissa, you are rooted in that original good part.  You two are but the latest farm family with the same love of the land that Adam and Eve had, the same care taker heart, and the same need for an equal helper to manage things well.  Not equal in that you both are in control, or both bring the same experiences or attributes.  I think in many ways you’ve found out you’re quite different from each other.  But when differences fit together in love, they make a whole and they complete God’s wonderful plan for his best creatures, you!

You both are connected to that first farm family, but you’ve got a more important connection.  That same God who created Adam and Eve created you.  Don’t forget this, because many have.  They don’t hold to a God created world, they believe in chaos, a world ruled by luck with decisions made by fate.  Many have given up on God and his plan for a world of families built from those deep roots reaching back to the first marriage.   Instead they search for something out there, but what–they don’t know.  Many simply believe we are no different than the plants and the animals with equal rights and equal fates.  And when it comes to God, they believe he isn’t, that we will live in and leave this world alone.

Don’t get me wrong, this world can certainly be chaotic and nature has a beauty beyond compare.  But we are not alone.  Let me repeat that for you two, you are never alone.  Just as in a marriage, times can be chaotic and even troubled, but in that relationship that ebbs, flows and grows there is a created beauty direct from the hand of God.  The same hand that shaped the first farmer out of the dust.  That same hand that crafted Eve out of Adam’s rib.  That same hand that has been upon both of you since the day you were born; steering, guiding, helping, teaching, loving you.  He has brought you together and today you will have the same blessings that God gives every husband and wife who know Him.  He is giving you himself as the best blessing in this marriage.

One of the parts of scripture that speaks to you two is from Ecclesiastes.  It is God’s word written many think by Solomon.  History records Solomon as Israel’s greatest king, at least as far as power, respect in the world and wealth beyond compare goes, but he was also gifted by God to be wise beyond compare.  He knew that riches don’t make you rich.  He knew he wasn’t alone.  He knew a life not built on God was purposeless and meaningless for in the end it is simply gone.  Without God, nothing else can satisfy, not even your spouse.  But with God, your marriage becomes a living thing of beauty.  Not luck, not fate, God given and God helped.

God brought marriage for good, both in its permanence and benefit.  Any who have found the love of Jesus and His forgiveness in their own marriage know this passage from the Bible to be a fact, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. ”  You two know this going in and you are ready to find your richness not in possessions or wealth, but in your God and His Son Jesus Christ who gave his life to make you new and rose up again in three days to walk with us in faith.  It is He who is making this new thing.  A new farm family, blessed by God with deep roots through all the generations and we hope, into future generations of the Volz and Norman families.

Melissa and Isaac, today you are surrounded by people whom you know, some of whom you’ve known your whole life.  Into your marriage today is going a husband, a wife, and their God who has always known them.  The perfect threesome that can withstand any trouble and weather any storm and find their riches direct from the God who made them in each other.

In each other and with God, no matter the circumstance, you will always be rich!

In Jesus Name,

Before Isaac and Melissa speak their marriage vows, I need to ask each of you for your pledge.  You see God made extended families, siblings and cousins, friends and colleagues, even the church for the support of His people in marriage.  Successful marriages go better when parents, siblings, family and friend all support not only the couple but their marriage and what God is doing in and through it in good times and in bad.

Bridal party, it is a privilege and honor to have been asked to stand up with Isaac and Melissa today, but your term of office doesn’t expire today.  Will you continue in your role of standing up for both of them and will you defend their marriage against all adversities and will you point them up to Christ when their hearts doubt and their trust is weak?  If so answer, we will with the help of God.

Parents and siblings of Isaac and Melissa, will you open your hearts and homes and extend your families around your new daughter, your new son?  Will you surround them with your love and care and pray for them?  If so answer, we will with the help of God.

And finally, everyone, parents, siblings, friends and family, today you are the church, for indeed this marriage is before God and carried out in the family of the church.  Will you first of all open your eyes to find Jesus, his love, forgiveness and help in your own marriage?  And will you give support to those around you in theirs?  Will you rush to defend marriage and not join in the judging?  Will you point out the blessings of marriage to those whose union has become dull or sick?   Will you join in the rejoicing for what God is doing today?  If so answer, we will!

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