Sermon at a marriage service
When Jesus was asked about marriage he replied by referring to how from the beginning of creation God made humankind male and female. We use those words of his later in the service today to proclaim this marriage. The difference between male and female is the basis of marriage. It is a gift of God for a purpose; and in human life that purpose is primarily to form a covenant relationship.
Another way to put it is to say that in human life sex is not only for reproduction. God intends a lasting relationship to be formed in love and trust. It is given for mutual support and encouragement by the partners of one another in every part of the their lives, as we read at the beginning of the service. The partners are intended to delight in each other and in their physical union to strengthen the union of their lives. In this way God has laid a foundation in the way he has made us for women and men to live in communion with each other and with him.
This gift of sharing each other's lives in the covenant of marriage is one of the ways, indeed, in which God makes himself known to us his creatures who have the potential to become children of God. Learning the value of love and trust in this relationship that he has given us, we learn about the kind of relationship God desires that we should have with him. That purpose of marriage is one of the ways God has provided for the fulfilment of human life. God takes the ordinary stuff of human relationships and make them a means of grace to achieve his purpose in creation.
In this communion of a man and woman it is the purpose of God also that children may be born and brought up in security and love and through their experience of that love in a family they too might learn of God's love for them.
We pray then that God will so bless the marriage we celebrate today so that their whole lives may be enriched with the love of God, and for that purpose we who are their friends and family will continue to love and support them in the promises they make to each other.
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David Beswick, Templestowe Uniting Church