Posts Tagged ‘marriage; royal wedding; Christian marriage’

Joy describes the wedding at Cana and it should describe any wedding.  Nowadays, we probably do not understand the joy that day in Cana.  In Jesus’ day, in Israel, after a man and a woman found each other, their fathers would come together for conversation to arrange the wedding and marriage.  They would write marriage covenant. The young man and woman would say to each other, Today, You are my husband, Today you are my wife.  Then the families then would have a betrothal dinner.  The couple were considered married. This is why as  Matthew’s Gospel begins, we read Joseph and Mary were betrothed and when Mary is found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, Joseph decided to quietly divorce her.  Betrothal only began a couple’s wedding journey.  She would then wear a veil to indicate in the town square that she was betrothed.  He would go back home to his family’s home and begin to add a room to their home for he and his bride.  This could take up to year to build.  When the room was built, the groom would send his groomsmen, complete with shofar, the ram’s horn, to go his bride’s home for her.  They would not know the hour when this would occur.  As the groomsmen approached the bride’s home, they might blow the ram’s horn.  With joy the bride and her party would go with the groomsmen to the groom’s home.  There in the privacy of their new room, husband and wife consummated their marriage, with the groomsmen standing guard outside.  Her veil was put aside.  The couple became one flesh.  Then began the wedding party which would last up to 7 days.

 This is exactly the time of the wedding at Cana.  The Lord knew what was going on…besides, He created marriage.  He brought His joy to the wedding of the man and the woman and added to their joy.  It takes time to make a couple.  One flesh is not an overnight or a hook-up.  Never was. In Luther’s day the church gave it’s approval to being a monk or nun as the holiest way of living. No, preached Luther, we find nothing in the Bible about monks or nun but right away in Genesis, we read of husband and wife.  Mary and her Son went to the wedding in Cana and He added more joy with the best wine.  Marriage is the estate ordained by God and is the basis of all authority.  Government, at it’s best is to protect  marriage not add to it by redefining it.  But government is only doing what so many churches have done:  redefine marriage or approve living together.  What Luther preached in his day is the same in our day:  “All heretics have denigrated matrimony and have sought for and begun some newfangled and bizarre way of life.” No kidding, Fr. Martin! I would guess that about 9 months after the wedding in Cana, the joyful couple had their first child.  Jesus would not have attended the move-in of a woman to live with her guy or  given consent to hooking-up or my biological clock is ticking, single-parenthood on purpose.  Churches, or Christians,  have said this is not so bad, and even God pleasing.  It is not. He does not want a child to fear abandonment because of different living arrangements.  He does not want a child aborted to fit a life-style.  The Old Adam likes, no, lusts after new ‘life-styles’. Once I was talking with my father-in-law about hooking-up and like and he quipped, I guess I was born at the wrong time.  Back in the ’60s, the  “new morality” was touted but as one conservative put it, it is actually the old immorality.  Christ was baptized for this…to save us from ourselves and sin, death and the power of the devil.  Our Lord protects husbands and wives with two commandments:  Honor your father and your mother and You shall not commit adultery. He protects, we wreck. The Lord loves the life He created, each and everyone of us, and wants it to continue and when fallen into disrepair He has sent His Son. He went to a wedding.

 Yes, a cross is laid on marriage, as it is written, there will be troubles in marriage. Yes.  If all the money of a  lifetime were put before a worker, like winning the lotto, it would not be considered to be enough.  But the Lord gives us money, our salary, we wonder if will we make ends meet. He will change water into wine as we manage and serve in our households.  This is God pleasing. If we are but godly and pious and let Him do the caring (Luther).  There will be enough so that faith is engendered, hope renewed and love quickened. When the wine ran out, they had enough by our Lord’s quiet sign of changing water into wine. The Christian home is faithful.

His Cross, His forgiveness in the home is the sign bar none of His forgiveness.  Husband and wife need His forgiveness day by day along with their children.  Forgiveness is bread on the table.  It is bread here today to be eaten, His body.  He commands all who would be His children to be washed in Holy Baptism and for the Christian household to walk wet in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit engenders His gifts bar none, more important gifts and fruits than any received this past Christmas. His gifts are:  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.   The Christian home is crucified and it’s member walk in the newness of life.  This newness is fostered and nurtured in confession and absolution. The Christian home is a confessional of sin, confesses Christ and confesses His praise by their service.

 Even His Mother cannot prescribe the time in which the Lord will help. Neither can we.  We come to the end of our rope, and cry out, Lord, help…in a situation like a wedding in which the wine has run out!  Jesus clearly teaches here for our sake, He will provide at the right time.  He did at the wedding at Cana.  He served the best wine. Mary said, Do whatever He says.  This is a good reminder to us all in all walks of life and especially in our homes.  Do whatever He tells you as in when you prayer, say, Our Father Who art in heaven.  Take and eat, take and drink.  Meditate on My Word.  The Christian home is a house of prayer.

 You have saved the best wine to the last. This could be a lesson for husband and wife.  When we first start seeing someone, we put our best foot forward, dress nice, best manners and personality…then marriage and my wife gets to know me. And one’s less charming aspects come to the fore quite quickly.  But of the Lord it can always be said, you have saved the best wine till now. His blood shed for repentant  sinners joyful in His forgiveness. We are told the master of feast knew could taste this was the best wine.  He probably did not know the first and original Master of the Feast was present with His disciples.  Jesus is the Master of the feast, this feast He founded.    My hour has not yet come, He told His Mother.  Jesus repeats this phrase, “my hour” a few times in the Gospel.  He changed water into wine, but this was not the glory.  His presence, message and person pointed to another glory, the glory of the only-begotten Son who died on the Cross for sinners in His love which conquers death.   He changes wine into His blood for us all. Taste and see that the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. The taste for sin is all too real and the taste of His joy in the family knows no bounds and He has overcome the world.  So the Christian home serves Jesus Christ. 

 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


Read Full Post »

Quite a few years ago, when the world was all abuzz about another royal wedding, the Archbishop of Canterbury made this observation, if memory serves:  other nations celebrate their national identity with a display of arms and weaponry but here we are celebrating a marriage between a man and a woman and the possibility of life.  I think he was referring to the practice of the then Soviet Union every May Day parading their military might in Red Square, as it was called then in Russia.  I think the Anglican Pastor was on to something.  The Soviets celebrated death, England life. The Soviets were ostensibly atheists and England ostensibly Christian.  It  still showed.

The world is again all gaga over a royal  wedding, this time Prince William, one of the beloved sons of the previous royal wedding and as we know, failed marriage,  and a commoner, Kate Middleton with all the accoutrements of a wedding, especially a royal wedding.  But it is excited over a wedding, a marriage and the life of a man and a woman becoming one which is always for life.  Truly we are seeing the  “focus on the family”.

In our culture saturated with lust and sexuality outside of marriage, I do not think this focus tomorrow, with all it’s glitz and media trivialization,  can be so slightly dismissed by Christians and with us the adherents of many other religions.  After all, marriage is truly the ecumenical institution of all mankind.  Remember:  marriage was given by the Lord before the Fall into sin.  Marriage is truly a catholic, that is the universal institution,  the estate “ordained by God”.   And the word, catholic is from two Greek words, kata holos, that is “according to the whole”.  Marriage between a man and a woman and the possibility of life and family is according to the whole and the whole is of God.  I know that  I maybe grasping at straws in these dark days.  But it has to be said:  I can only imagine with horror the ‘nuptials’ so celebrated between Prince William and say, a ‘Prince Stephen’.  Such can not work. In that there is nothing “according to the whole”.  Yes, the previous royal wedding ended in tragedy: divorce.  But even then, that royal couple had two sons, as do many other couples have children after the sorrow of the ending of a marriage.  We might mean it for evil, but God intends it for good… yes, in spite of us.  The marriage tomorrow is fraught with all the dangers inherent in marriage today, as it always has been:  see for instance Abraham and Sarah. And yet,  marriage between  man and woman is abundantly blessed by God.

The media has reported all the justification for the continuation of England’s monarchy:  tradition, it brings in tourist dollars, etc. If there was a raison e’tre for the monarchy and the 1,000 year plus tradition it embodies, it maybe is for in our day what will happen tomorrow:  a very public  celebration of nuptial love. Yes, the royal wedding tomorrow is accompanied by such media hype:  but here for once I can say, maybe it should be and that’s great!  Christians are adherents of the Lord who begins His narrative with marriage in a Garden and says that in His Beloved Son all history will be consummated in a wedding with all the glory of Heaven which can only be revealed in the joy of wedding and marriage which will really be over the top:

 “Hallelujah!For the Lord our God
   the Almighty reigns.
7Let us rejoice and exult
   and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
   and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
   with fine linen, bright and pure”—

(Revelation 19:  6-8)

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

(Revelation 21: 2)

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: