God Covers Our Marriages
Monday of Pentecost 25
12 November 2018
Marriage is to be honored for God's sake. He gave it at creation when Adam received his wife, Eve. In the wedding sermon on that day, God told his aboriginal couple that they should be fruitful and multiply. This was accomplished the same way then as it is now. The unity of husband and wife in the "knowing" of conjugal relations (Gn 4:1) was designed into the creation and is a sign of the co-creative unity of the holy Trinity. It remains so to this day. Our perversity does not un-make the good of God's creation of holy marriage and its relations. God is intimately involved in our marriages and its relations, covering our perversity with His command and blessing.
From a young age, my daughters always claimed that they would not let me be the pastor marrying them on their wedding day. Their perfectly reasonable rationale was that they wanted their father to act as their father on their wedding day, not as their pastor. While I thought I could function very well in both vocations at the same time, I could see their point. And this is the way it went at the wedding of the first.
However, as the wedding of the younger approached and no pastor had been chosen to perform the wedding ceremony, my youngest daughter called and asked very tentatively if I would mind performing the wedding service for her and her fiancé. She made sure to let me know that if I didn't want to do it, she was perfectly happy to find another pastor. Of course, I jumped at the chance, "I would be delighted to marry you and Nathan. It would be an honor and a pleasure!" I think she thought that I had my heart set on being "just her father" on that special day.
In the sermon I was delighted to point out that at the first wedding ceremony God our heavenly Father was both the pastor and the father. This put me in exalted company, doing what only God could do and a few of my colleagues. The God who made Adam and Eve also brought them together in the holy sanctuary of Eden, the grove-church created by God for His service to them. As we join our children in holy marriage, we too are bringing them together in an Eden of God's creation in the good gift of holy marriage. Marriage, which predates the fall, remains a good and blessed gift from God. Only our perversity has warped this gift from God. It hasn't changed the fact that it is a gift from God and a blessing to all those who receive it and live within it.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

   Martin Luther
"One should, therefore, guard against those doctrines of demons [such as the forbidding marriage] (1Ti 4:1) and learn to hold matrimony in honor and to speak with respect of this way of life. For we see that God instituted it, and we hear it praised in the Ten Commandments, where it is stated: 'Honor your father and your mother' (Ex 20:12). And to this is added the blessing: 'Grow and multiply' (Gn 1:28). About this we hear the Holy Spirit speaking here, and His mouth is chaste. But the vices and the ignominy, which through sin became attached to what God had created, we should not ridicule or laugh at; but we should cover them, just as we see God cover naked Adam and Eve with garments after their sin (Gn 3:21). Marriage should be treated with honor; from it we all originate, because it is a nursery not only for the state but also for the church and the kingdom of Christ until the end of the world."

Martin Luther, Lectures on Genesis, 4.1
1 Timothy 4:1-5

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
O Lord, keep the homes of the faithful in Your care that the life You give to husbands and wives in holy marriage would be a sign of Your service to Adam and Eve. Amen.
For all those whose marriages are conflicted, that they would be joined in harmony by their heavenly Father
For the Council of Presidents of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, that in the deliberations and conversations they would confess and uphold the doctrine of the divine Word
For Pastor Charles Wokoma and the mission work being done in Nigeria, that God our Lord would lead us all to proclaim one Christ, the Savior of the world
For President Matthew Harrison of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, that he would lead the church into faithful confession of the Christian truth
Art: Albrecht DURER, The Adoration of the Trinity (1511)
Memorial Lutheran Church
¬©  Scott Murray 2018