Monday, April 30, 2007

"reckless promises"

Mystery of Marriage: Vows

by Mike Mason

"In making such reckless promises we have freely admitted that we ourselves cannot keep them, yet equally freely have we confessed our unreserved faith in and dependence upon the God Who can, the God Whose very nature is expressed in faithfulness, that is, in the keeping of apparently impossible promises to His people.

A Church wedding makes it very clear that there is no security whatsoever in human passion and resolve, but only in the Lord's passion and the Lord's resolve. The wedding is a ceremonial declaration that God has brought two people together, and that He has already taken it upon Himself to keep them together. It is not any human power that has joined them, any more than a human power may "put them asunder" (Matthew 19.6)

The Wedding is an acceptance and proclaimation of God's power to take action of eternal significance in the lives of mortals, to step in and overrule the fickleness of the human heart. IT is not that the vows hold any guarantee that a couple shall always be "in love", but rather that through God's grace and strength they may continue in faith "to love". For that, once again, is the peculiar meaning of Christian love: not a feeling, but an action, and not ahuman nad limited action, but a supernatural and eternal one. Love is a deep, continuous, growing, and ever-renewing activity of the will, superintended by the Holy Spirit. There is no question of its failing or ceasing or letting anyone down. A wedding, therefore, declares openly and robustly that there is nothing romantic about love, nothing the least bit chancy or changeable. It is a gift from the Lord, whole and intact forever, a sure rock.

Naturally those who stubbornly refuse to believe this will fail to experience the reality of it."

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