Wedding Sermon / Drew & Kaitlin Kreis / Colossians 3:12-14 - Pastor Ted Giese / Mount Norquay Alberta - May 20th 2017
Mount Norquay Alberta - Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Saturday May 20th 2017: Easter / Colossians 3:12-14
"a strength that surpasses the strength of the mountain"
Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in Your sight O Lord. Amen.
Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Good Christian friends and family, Drew and Kaitlin as you’re adventure is about to begin, here we are on Mount Norquay encircled by the Canadian Rockies. Think about Mount Norquay and consider, consider how Mountains weather the storms of life – look at a mountain over 40, 50, 60 years’ time and every stick of wood might at one time be brunt to nothing, decades old accumulations of snow may avalanche down the side of the mountain, it might suffer landslides and other calamities yet the mountain will remain. You are about to vow to each other that you will have each other and holdfast to each other from this day forward for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health … till death do you part regardless of what wildfires or avalanches or debilitating landslides might come. In this way I pray God will bless you with a marriage that will weather the storms of life like Mount Norquay.
But in another way I want your marriage to be completely different from this mountain. Mountains are made of rock and stone and rock and stone can be, and often are, cold and hard. Saint Paul in Colossians says we are to put off all that is cold and hard, “anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another,” Saint Paul says. Do not be cold and hard with one another, today put on “as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against [the other], forgiving each other.” Continue and ever strive to be warm and tender and merciful with each other.
I have some reasonable belief that you are both capable of this. You both work in your vocations in fields where you daily care for the needs of others, in times of emergencies and in the aftermath of tragedy or illness. You are prepared to help those in need and you do. Do not forget to care for each other in this way … not as work that gains you paycheques but as a husband and wife who puts on a compassionate heart for their spouse when things are going well and when they aren’t going as expected or desired. The strength to do this, to be warm and tender and merciful with each other in the good times and in the times of emergency - when for all the world it seems like the house is burning down and you will be left unable to care for yourself or each other - will come from God. It will be a gift in times of trouble.
The Psalmist in Psalm 46 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.” Mountains for all their enduring strength, for all their ability to weather the storms of life are not eternal, today by virtue of your entry into a Christian marriage you are gaining together a strength that will surpass the strength of Mount Norquay or any mountain. The Eternal and Almighty God is blessing your union and He is making Himself that 3rd cord in your marriage knot. As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” With God as your refuge and strength you and your marriage together will endure in love, you will stand fast in love.
Now there’s love, and love, and love and then there’s Love. As Christians “We love because [God] first loved us.” This kind of love we see in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, in His willingness to love us right to point of death and beyond, to love us with a love that death cannot devour. This is the kind of love that Saint Paul says we are to put on towards each other, a love that makes a husband willing and able to give up his life for his wife; a love that makes a wife willing and able to place her trust and respect in her husband. This kind of love, when all other kinds of love have faded away is the kind of love which binds everything together in perfect harmony. In this kind of love, in this Christian marriage this day, and through all the days of your life together you are no longer two but now you’re are one flesh. What therefore God is joining together here on this mountain this day let not man separate. May it be as hard as stone when it needs to be and as warm and tender as it must be, may Christ Jesus always be your refuge and strength, your help in every time of need, your joy in times of happiness, a strength that surpasses the strength of the mountain. Amen.
Let us pray:
Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.
 Colossians 3:8-9
 Psalm 46:1-3
 Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
 1 John 4:19