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07 Pentecost 03 Fifth Saturday After Pentecost Mike and Jen Wedding

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                Dear Mike, Jen, Friends, and Family.  I greet you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  I picked for you verses 20-22 of the 33rd Psalm.  “Our souls waits for the Lord: he is our help and our shield.  Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.” 

                I am honored to be up here with you today, as part of this celebration, not just as your pastor, but as your friend.  You have done a lot to get to this point, and you have done it well.  You’ve made it through many trials and tribulations, adventures and life threatening situations, and that was just the pre-marital counseling.  I asked the two of them to write out for me the reasons why they wanted to get married, and Mike entitled his, “Why Do I want to marry Jennifer Katharine Pond?”  Both of their papers were beautiful. 

                Marriage is a wonderful gift from God.  It is a very important and special relationship.  The Scriptures use marriage as a picture to describe the relationship that God has with his people.  He is not a God who watches us from a far away distance, but is intimately part of our lives.  He is always with us. He will never leave or forsake us.  He keeps his promises.  He is worthy of our trust. 

                In all the things that you have learned about communicating with one another, in all that things that you have already experienced with one another, in all the blessings and joys that come in your relationships with one another and with your friends and family, it is your relationship with your God that is most important.  Because in that relationship with him, you will find all that you need for your relationship with one another. 

                In Jesus God has forgiven us all our sins.  Knowing that forgiveness will help you to forgive one another.  And there will be those times when you have to do that.  I know that is hard to believe right now.  But trust me on this one.  Knowing that God gives to us all that we need to support our bodies and lives, will allow you know contentment in times of plenty but also when resources are scarce.  Knowing that God’s love for you in Jesus is beyond our ability to grasp, will allow you to love one another, even when you act in a way that is difficult to love.    And when you live your lives this way, you are making a beautiful witness to your faith, and showing people what it means to follow Jesus.

                Loving someone can be one of the most difficult things that we do.  Because when we love another person, we are putting them, before ourselves.  Loving someone can be one of the most difficult things that we do, because loving means giving of  ourselves and placing the needs of another before our own.  Love is not just some warm and fuzzy feeling, because those feelings will come and go, they will wax and wane.  But when you live your lives together in love for one another, you will experience life as it was meant to be lived.

                However,  the fact of the matter is that life can be difficult.  But when that life is lived with Jesus, then it will be lived with a peace that goes above and beyond our ability to understand.  So these verses that I picked for your are not just a statement of faith, although they do serve in that capacity.  But they are also a beautiful prayer, one that can be prayed together for the rest of your years. 

                Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and shield.  Now waiting is not much fun.  Nobody likes to wait.  Mike, having worked for the government, and Jen currently working for them, you both know well the meaning of “hurry up and wait.”  But this kind of waiting that is talked about here is a little different.  It means that we know that God will work in his own timing and not only do we know that in our heads, but we trust it in our hearts.  You can wait on the Lord because he is your helper, your shield.  This doesn’t mean that God will work according to our time and on our schedule, but it does mean that because he is faithful, we will never be left high and dry. 

                Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.  Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.”  Lest you think that this is a prayer that only be reserved for the bad times.  These lines tell us differently.  There is a gladness of heart that comes with trusting in God.  He has got it under control.  And so, knowing this, trusting in this and living in this will allow you to enjoy  and experience gladness in your new relationship with one another as husband and wife.  The love of God is perfect, and never runs out or is exhausted.  It is unconditional.  And it is for you.

                I hope that these verses will be something that you will have be a part of your lives together.  Pray them together.  Talk about what they mean to you.  Talk about what it means to live by them and to live in them.  Not just once, but several times over the coming years.  And when the time comes, and God blesses you with children, then these words will take on a whole new meaning for you.  And believe me, nothing quite tests your trust in God like children.  But they are truly a wonderful blessing.

                Mike and Jen.  You are good and dear friends.  Your love for one another and commitment to each other is very admirable.  I am confident that your marriage will be a blessing, not only to yourselves but to those of us who are lucky enough to know you.   This is a beautiful day and celebration.  This is a wonderful wedding and truly something to celebrate and give thanks to God. 

                So, as your souls wait for the Lord, who is your help and shield, may your hearts be glad in him.  May you trust in his holy name.  And may his steadfast love be upon you, even as you hope in him.  Now and always.  Amen. 

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