I will be spending the next few days preparing to perform the wedding ceremony for my Sister-in-law, Laura, and her fiancé, Matthew.
I will, no doubt, draw from my previous writings on the subject of marriage: Three Easy Steps to a Happy Marriage (Part 1 | Part 2). However, the bride and groom have asked me to focus my sermon on a passage in 1 John 4.
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.I won't go into a bunch of detail yet and spoil the surprise. Here are the big message points I want to convey in my homily:
- Love = Serve. If I say I love you, but I don't serve you, then I don't really love you. I only like the way you make me feel. The Greek word for love in this passage is Agape. Agape is self-sacrificing love. It is the love with which God loves us. It is the love that caused him to send his Son as an atoning sacrifice for us.
- Our Agape Love Points to a Greater Love. When we give of ourselves in love, we point to a greater love--the love of God. Earthly marriage is a shadow of a greater marriage between God and man.