In the Name of Christ Jesus our Advent King +
Sarah, Jacob, friends and families, greeting in the Name of Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. This is a good, good day. A joyous day. It's about as near as we get to the life of the world to come this side of that life of the world to come. And I mean that completely literally – as we just heard, “And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” That's the image we get for the new heavens and the new earth, the image we get for the life of the world to come. Jacob, the closest you get to heaven before you get there was watching Sarah walking down the aisle. That is a wondrously neat thing.
And now I'm going to be a bit of a downer. While it's the closest thing we get to heaven on earth – alas, we aren't there yet. This isn't the life of the world to come yet – and you two are here, joined together by God, to sustain and support each other in this life, in this world, where things get messed up. John tells us of that time that “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” This marriage is God's gift to you preparing you to handle all the former things you are yet to see. The things that do cause tears, and mourning, and pain.
One of the wonderful things about our God is that He is an utter realist. God never lives in denial, His Word is Truth, not pie in the sky. And God knows what life in the fallen world is like, and so God has joined the two of you together to face down this world. You are His own two beloved children, tied together by Him. Sarah, God has given this man here, Jacob, to you, to support you, to protect you, to comfort you, and to settle you, to help you remain on a nice even keel. And that's good for you. And Jacob, God has given this woman, Sarah, to you, to support you, to encourage you, to motivate you and spur you on to accomplish things you wouldn't have done on your own. In the two of you, God has assembled a good team, a good partnership; one that is able to confront challenges, confront difficulties, and overcome them. It's a great thing.
And yet, because we are honest, because we are lovers of the truth, you do realize that sometimes the challenges that you will face will be each other. That's just reality; the two of you are both sinful human beings. I mean, I'm not telling you anything you don't already know – but ponder this. While God has put you together to act as a check on each others sin – Sarah, you know there will be times when Jacob will keep you from doing stupid stuff, and likewise, Jacob, Sarah's going to pull your bacon out of the frying pan often enough – but even more importantly, you are placed into each others lives to remind, to declare, to proclaim the forgiveness that Christ has won for you. Sarah, when you do mess up, Jacob is your husband, and he will point you to Christ. Jacob, when you mess up, Sarah is your wife, and she will point you to Christ. That's part of why you are placed together, so that you don't sit and face your sins alone, but that God has given you someone to speak His love, His love and mercy and forgiveness to you.
Be in His Word together, as you have been since I've known you. Be in Church, hear preaching, receive the Supper, be strengthened in Christ, not only for yourselves, but for each other. Because that is why God has brought you here today, that you may each love and serve the other, according to God's holy will. And that's a great thing... so let's get to it. The Lord bless you both through all your years together, in the Name of Christ Jesus, our Advent King +