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The Calling of Marriage

The following is a sermon that I gave on a wedding last Saturday. I would like to share this with all who are planning to enter marriage.

• I guess all of us who are here for this wedding are joyful and happy. But we may be happy for different reasons. May be you’re glad that Roy and Carol are finally getting married. I am too. I have known Roy for 14 years and Carol for 8 years, and from day one that they’re together I’m looking forward to this day.
• But as a pastor, I have another reason to be glad. By getting married, you too are responding to God’s calling to be his ambassadors on earth, to be his image on earth. Your marriage is an expression of who God is. And this is an important meaning of marriage that I would like you to truly remember.
• Nowadays, we take marriage just too casually. We treated marriage as a thing that we can decide and accomplish by ourselves. We get married when we feel like it, and we divorce each other when we feel like it. We somehow think that marriage is a matter between just two people. No, marriage is never just between 2 people.
• Do you realize that the marriage ceremony is always a religious ceremony no matter which culture you’re in? Marriage is not handled in City Hall but in churches and temples until only very recently. In our Chinese culture, when 2 people get married, they worship the heaven and the earth. In the Christian culture, you married before the Lord. The government has no power to declare people married. Only God can.
• There is this mysterious, spiritual aspect of marriage that we tend to forget. Marriage is not just the union of 2 human beings, but a union that expresses the deepest spiritual mystery of the universe.
• In Genesis 2:18-24, we find the narratives of the creation of woman. There is a reason why woman was created. But I want you to note that this is not only an account of the creation of woman, but the creation of marriage.
• In Genesis 1:1-24, we read the account of God’s creation. God created the world, there are plants and animals on earth. In 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created (hu)man in his own image, in the image of God he created him (human); male and female he created them. 26 我們要照著我們的形像、按著我們的樣式造人(類),使他們管理海裡的魚、空中的鳥、地上的牲畜,和全地,並地上所爬的一切昆蟲。27 神就照著自己的形像造人(類),乃是照著他的形像造男造女。
• Humans are created as the manager of this world. But not just managers. We are God’s image.
• What is the meaning of being God’s image?
• If you go to Louvre or any big museum in Europe, you’ll see many remains of broken sculpture from the Roman times. Many of them are statues of Roman Emperors. But do you know where were these statues discovered mostly? Not in Rome, not in Italy, but in Turkey, in Greece, and in the rest of Europe.
• Why? Because the Roman Emperors lived in Rome. He’s there, he didn’t need a statue to remind people that he’s there. But far away from Rome, he’ll need to erect an image of himself to represent his dominion over that region, and to show his glory to the people of that region. That’s why we find many Roman Emperors’ statues in Turkey, and that’s why we find ourselves on earth.
• We are the image of God. We are here to express God’s dominion over the world. But our God is a benevolent God. He’s not only possessing this world, but he also rules over this earth with justice and grace. That’s why we, as the image of God, we have the mission to manage this world for our master, our God, as proclaimed in 1:26.
• But notice that God didn’t just install man for this job. In verse 27, God created, according to his own image, both male and female.
• The importance of this concept is elaborated in 2:18-23. Verse 19-20 is a narration of Adam’s effort to manage the world, but God found it “no good” because he’s alone. So God created Eve using a bone from Adam, and they’ll complete God’s management mission together.
• To fulfill God’s mission of managing the world, God not only created man, or woman, but God created marriage.
• Maybe this is contrary to the teachings of the world, but the Bible tells us that, marriage is not for fun, not even just for love, but for a mission.
• 2:24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. 因此,人要離開父母,與妻子連合,二人成為一體。We unit with our spouse and become one. But notice that this sentence begins with “therefore”. We’re together with a reason.
• Today, I’m reminding you that there is a reason why you two are married. Not just because you feel like it. Not just only because you love each other (which I hope you do). But today, you two get married with a mission. The mission of being God’s ambassadors. The mission of ruling this earth, together, as a married couple, as the image of God.
• And the good news is, God is here with you. God didn’t just throw you an assignment and then left. He’s committed to finish this assignment with you, and in the process, you’ll be experiencing his love, his care, his power, and his sovereignty.
• He’s committed to the point that in order for human couples to be his regents, he died on the cross for us to redeem our shortfalls and transgressions. He’s with us. He has decided to protect marriages, because it is his plan for the world, to build this society based on good marriages.
• Today, you acquired a new identity. You’re not two separate entities anymore. You two are now one. As the Jewish declaration of their faith, the Shema said, adonai elohenu adonai echud. The LORD our God [is] one. You are to be one as God is one. And you’re to be one with God. You are God’s image. May God’s name be glorified in your marriage.

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I like the way you talk about "mission"! I do think that we need to keep our mission in our mind all the time! Two ppl get marry and work for God...How sweet^^

I suddenly start to wonder if I ask you to give a sermon in my wedding...what will you say? ^^

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I work at Westside Baptist Church. Of course, that doesn't mean they agree with everything I post or link here. Everything here is my personal opinion and is not read or approved in advance. Consider yourself warned.