Pastor's Pen
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March 24, 2015, 10:00 AM

Water to Wine or A Good Marriage



Water to Wine


A Good Marriage


   One day when Jesus was around 30 years old, He and His friends showed up at a wedding. Weddings in Israel typically lasted seven days. I have had the joy of being a part of those types of weddings! Have you ever been part of a wedding that lasted about a week? In Jesus’ day, not unlike today, families were known to invite large numbers of people, sometimes entire villages.

   The rabbis use to say that God’s attendance at Adam and Eve’s nuptials demonstrated the importance of weddings. Rabbis would even suspend their school so disciples could attend weddings.  And it was good and right to have so much food and drink at weddings that there would be leftovers.

   I like the way Jesus connects marriage to creation (Matthew 19:4-6). In Genesis, God is making creation good by separating; He separates the light from the darkness, the dry land from the sea, the heavens from the earth. But, with the man and the woman, God takes what was separate and joins them. And so Jesus says “… what God has joined together, let no one separate.” So, Jesus says what God has joined … let no one separate. To marry is to enter into an act of divine creation. Marriage is understood to be a spiritual reality … not just an economic or social institution.

   Walter Wangerin, in his book As for Me and My House, wrote, “Marriage begins with a promise. A man and a woman stand in a church or a chapel or a backyard before each other, before witnesses, and before Almighty God. They make a vow. They say a promise. They give their word. That’s what a marriage is built on!” A promise freely offered, fully embraced, joyfully witnessed, painstakingly kept … that’s what makes a marriage!

   Well, why say all of this? You have just read part of my homily which I will share next weekend in Columbia, South Carolina. I will be officiating at the wedding of one of my best friend’s son’s wedding. Weddings are fun and wonderful events! But the living out of those vows in the warp and woof of life is what makes a good marriage! Have you been a part of one of those week-long weddings? This might qualify for one.  03.22.2015

Dr. Rick Baggett is pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Ardmore (the church with the bells) and can be reached at:

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