[Mark 10:6-9, 13-16.]
Sermon in Michigan, June 2010.
The good news that God helps couples to keep their marriage vows!
A wise teacher said, “What could be more impossible than two beings as self-centered as a man and a woman becoming one!”
There are a lot of married people here. I’ll bet you’d agree this is true.
Marie and Sean will promise to work for unity to happen for them. Right after they make that promise, we will pray for them to do it.
That’s why I’m here – not a justice of the peace. We are praying, “Lord, do it for them, too. Help them to become one! Help them to become one!”
That’s the gospel – the good news – Christians have to tell. We are not the only believers in the world. We do have something special to offer in the dialog of the world’s faiths. It’s the good news that what God asks us to do, God helps us to do – what God asks us to do, God helps us to do. God asks Marie and Sean to make total commitments to each other – for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish until parted by death.
The good news is that God will help them to do it. God will help them to become one.
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Couples are not always aware that God is helping them to become one. They don’t have to be. God helps them anyway. When couples believe God is helping them, God can help them even more. That’s why I’ve asked Marie and Sean to visit some churches to find one that speaks to them – one that helps them to believe God wills their union.
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How do couples come to see God is helping them? Some may never see God is helping them. God will help them anyway. Some have a sudden discovery. “God helped us to find a job! Thank you Lord.” “God helped us through the loss of our daughter!” “Thank you, Lord.” Some grow into it gradually. “We are learning to budget! Thanks, Lord!” “We are learning how to settle our differences! Thanks, Lord!”
I’ve heard of God helping Marie and Sean. I asked them to find a counselor to help them to prepare for what is ahead. Marie went on the net and found one. God’s work! Marie and Sean have found the counseling helps them. God’s work again! Marie’s friend said, “You are going to marriage counseling. You are not even married!” They asked to mix the sands – a sign they chose to say they will become something new, forever. God’s work yet again!
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I gave them some advice at the end of our first session. Respect each other. Understand each other. Collaborate with each other. Make love with each other. Making love is one of the ways God helps couples to become one. Making love gives each that sense: “You love me as I am. You love me as I am.” Love making has many forms. My fiancee says, “Just talking to me is making love.” Yes, make love and learn to do it better and better. Say ever more deeply, “Thanks for making us one!”
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So Marie and Sean have this prayer right. They are praying for God to help them all the way “until we are parted by death.” That’s what God wants for them. God is helping these two to become one flesh!