Wedding Sermon / Rocky Hugh Campbell & Jennifer Jade Kerr / Colossians 3:12–14 - Pastor Ted Giese / Mount Olive Lutheran Church - October 20th 2018
Wedding Sermon for Rocky Hugh Campbell and Jennifer Jade Kerr - Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Pr. Ted A. Giese / Saturday October 20th 2018: Season of Pentecost / Colossians 3:12–14 "Harmony and The Threefold Chord."
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, Rocky and Jennifer, You both play music, both play guitar, Rocky you play bass and Jennifer you play acoustic 6 string. Now a guitar can look wonderful, beautiful even, but often you can’t tell if it’s in tune until you pick it up and start to play.
Does a guitar need to be tuned once and then it will always be in tune? No. The guitar needs to be tuned often so the music sounds as good as the guitar looks. Even a weathered and well used guitar that people think looks terrible can, when properly tuned and in the right hands, make beautiful music. Saint Paul isn’t really talking about playing guitar in Colossians chapter 3 when he gives us the advice to, “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony,” they didn’t have guitars back in his day, but we do have in his words the mention of harmony, perfect harmony, and harmony is a word we use when we talk about music. The music of marriage is a bit of a mystery and like any music you need to work at it over time to make it sound good; there are the notes on the page and then there’s the music you hear when you play those notes, and as you both know practice is essential. And for practice to work towards a beautiful sound you need to be willing to forgive the times you play the wrong notes along the way. If every time a wrong note is played or the right note is played at the wrong time you set down the guitar and refuse to continue to practice you’ll never get good at the song that you’ve been given to play. Love keeps you playing, and binds your practice together in perfect harmony. Still, you really have to want to learn how to play because at first your fingers don’t want to do what they are told.
You will have no harmony if you go through life only playing one note. Harmony happens when you add chords to the melody of life. Now you can have a chord with just two notes but that kind of harmony is a little empty, it really is amazing just how much the third note in a chord provides. A triad chord, a three note chord, is full and rich making the melody of life to sing. Rocky you are one note, and Jennifer you are another note and today you receive the blessing of God, and God is The Third Note in the chord of your marriage together.
Think of the Old Testament reading we had today, again just as St. Paul wasn’t talking about guitars when he wrote Colossians chapter 3 but was talking about the harmony of love, here in Ecclesiastes chapter 4 wise king Solomon, king David’s son, was not talking about music when he wrote “though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken,” Solomon was talking about a different kind of cord, the third strand of a rope which makes the rope strong, so in his case that’s a cord without the “H” but if you would allow me to mix the metaphors just a bit you can see how they come together, three strands of a rope which make a cord, three notes in a chord which makes a harmony when added to a melody. Two is good but the three fold chord is not quickly broken and adds so much to the music of life.
What does The Third Note in the chord add? Jesus, the eternal bridegroom adds forgiveness won at His Good Friday cross in the shedding of His Holy and precious, innocent blood for His bride the Church: For you, for me, for us all. He gave His life that she, the church, would have life and three days later on that first Easter morning Jesus physically came up from the dead in glorious perfection and victory to continue to give this life and to give it eternally, promising on the day of His ascension that He would be with us “always to the end of the age.” Which means that in the minor and major chords of life, in sickness and in health, for richer, for poorer, for better for worse, all three notes are there even though the major chords sound grand when they are played and the minor chords sound sad. Jesus promises to be with you always. Sometimes The Root Note is strong and clear as in the major chords and sometimes it is more quite like it is in the minor chords but The Root Note is always there. So “when the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long, and you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,” remember that as your two notes have come together there was no luck in this, and for today and for tomorrow and for all the days you are given, it is The Third Note, God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, a triad Himself, the Holy Trinity, which breathes life into the chord of your marriage and this new chord that you begin to play today will make rich the melody of life.
And such a life is not dependent upon your strength; just think no matter how hard the guitar string works at it, no matter how hard it tries to stay in tune by its own strength it cannot stay in tune forever, it will eventually need to be tuned. God is the one string in our analogy that requires no tuning; He is always in tune, lean on Him. He is the one who will tune you. In fact “If thou but trust in God to guide thee and hope in Him through all thy ways, He’ll give thee strength whate’re betide thee, and bear thee through the evil days. Who trusts in God’s unchanging love builds on the rock that naught can move,” or in this case the string which is never out of tune; The Note that makes the harmony of your love sing.
The nature of this love is not selfishness rather as St. Paul says it is the kind of love that puts on “compassionate hearts,” and such a heart is a heart which is distinguished by its “kindness, and humility, [it’s] meekness, and patience [toward the other, such love bears] with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, [St. Paul says, it is this kind of love that is] forgiving [of] each other; [and he adds this forgiveness comes out of gratitude: for] as the Lord has forgiven you [St. Paul says], so you also must forgive.” Like I said, there will be times when you play the wrong note, when you play the right note at the wrong time, when the harmony of your music may sound off, times when it will be clear that you need more practice, times when you will need to be tuned again and again and again. At such times lean on Christ Jesus and His forgiveness for you, for as St. John says, “God is love,” and, “anyone who does not love does not know God,” and as St. Paul says, it is “Love which binds everything together in perfect harmony,” may the harmony of God’s perfect love always be yours. 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.
 Ecclesiastes 4:12
 Matthew 28:20
 "The Rose" is a classic pop song written by Amanda McBroom
 Psalm 98:1, “Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for He has done marvelous things!”
 “If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee” Lutheran Service Book, Concordia Publishing House 2006, # 750
 1 John 4:8