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®TP2¯®PL49¯®OF2¯®RM51¯®IP0,3¯Lori Lee & Phil Bahr Wedding - June 22, 1991

Texts: Song of Solomon 2:9-12; John 15:10-13

®PT10¯®LS1.5¯

There is a simple explanation why we are all gathered here today: Lori and Phil fell in love, and now want to be married and live happily ever after.

It's as simple as that... except we all know that nothing is as simple as it seems

Getting to the point where Lori and Phil decided to be married was hard enough; getting ready for a simple wedding service is no simple matter; and then thinking about all the obstacles and hurdles to living happily ever after: well, nothing is as simple as it seems

as you start to think about managing money and juggling the demands of jobs and family and time together, it can get downright discouraging to think about how tough it is to live as husband and wife

I know I'm not telling you anything new, but in few moments, you two are solemnly going to promise your lifelong love for each other even under the most complex and difficult of situations.

Now, I am certain of your sincere desire to be faithful to your promises. I am certain that you will both do your very best to live out your good intentions, but we all know: Nothing is as simple as it seems.

and when the going gets tough, the... person like me turns to the Bible and hopes to find some words of encouragement and guidance

in the passage from the SgSol that Michelle read, we do hear a word of advice for those times when the kids are driving you crazy and the creditors come a calling: "Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away!"

I suppose that will work for a little while, but for guidance for the long haul, we need to turn to the verses from John which Traci read:

there Jesus gives you the answer to get you through the most difficult and challenging situations you might face: (are you ready for this comprehensive, all-encompassing guideline?)

Love one another.

It's as simple as that... except we all know that nothing is as simple as it seems

After all, how can these 3 simple words address all the hard situations you may have to face

I suppose it was simple enough for you to ®MDRV¯fall®MDNM¯ in love with each other, but J is undoubtedly correct to need to command you to keep on loving each other

But can everything be solved by simply commanding you to love one another?

No--love is certainly not that simple; but listen again to the entire command J gives: love one another---as I have loved you.

The real reason why we are here today is because J's love for you makes possible your lifelong love for each other

J's love for you, therefore, is the simple reason why this day, this ceremony, this gathering of witnesses is taking place.

J's love for you is the simple reason your love, your marriage, your future life together are all possible.

J's love for you is the simple reason why I am glad to affirm your vows to each other.

You see, it is not simply your promises to each other that are making this marriage happen. It is, in fact, J's love for you that is an important factor.

For as J also says: "These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full."

Bec of J's love for you, God does wish you, Lori and Phil, a joyous and happy marriage. And it is God who steadfastly promises to encourage you, and to strengthen and support your love for each other so that a hard command becomes a lifelong habit.

It is God who promises to grant you to live in harmony with each other even in the most difficult times of our complex lives so that you can live and love happily ever after... and in the hereafter as well.

It is as simple as that. Thanks be to God. Amen.

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