Love is…

2019-05-19 – Year C – Easter 5 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas

Acts 13:44-52; Psalm 145:1-9; Revelation 19:1-9; John 13:31-35

Everyone Loves a Wedding

  • The whole world watched last year as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle got married, one year ago today. An estimated 29.2 Million Americans tuned in to watch and millions more around the world.
  • Why did so many people watch?
    • The grandness of the occasion, the fascination with royalty, the Cinderella story of a “commoner” being courted by a prince.
    • There is also something in most of us that loves seeing a couple come together.
    • The commitment expressed in wedding vows is also deeply moving and inspiring. “In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death, according to God’s holy Word. This is my solemn vow.” (BCP2019)
  • In the creation story, the pinnacle event was the creation of humans, male and female.
    • When Adam first sees Eve, he cries our with delight. Genesis 2:23.
    • Something was also hardwired by God into creation in that moment (v. 24).
    • Every marriage points backward to this marriage. Every marriage also points forward to another, future marriage.

The Marriage of the Lamb

  • In our Bible readings today we heard about a great wedding at the end of time.
  • This marriage that we see takes place after a great battle between the lamb and the forces of darkness.
    • Revelation 17:14 “The Lamb will conquer them…”
    • The way the Lamb conquers is by his blood. By laying down his own life.
  • When the battle has concluded, we see the Lamb and the Bride.
    • The bride is the Church
    • The Lamb is Jesus
  • Revelation 19:9 “Blessed are those who are invited…”
    • “Those invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb are believers who belong to his beloved bride, the church, who have been called through the gospel of
      grace”
    • This is not a banquet to miss! It goes on for all of eternity. Are you one of those who are invited? You can be if you confess your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ, the Lamb, the Bridegroom!
  • This is the perfect fulfillment of the image of marriage, first expressed by Adam and Eve.
  • It is the perfect expression of God’s “never-stopping, never giving up, unbreaking, always and forever love” for his people.
    • Jesus calls us to express this love to one another.

What is Love?

  • John 13:34-35 “love one another as I have loved you…”
    • Not an emotion, although emotion is often a byproduct.
    • Not romantic love, this is for husbands and wives
    • This is the sacrificial, selfless love which Jesus modeled for us.
    • Love is a choice, an action.
  • Love is sacrificial and giving
    • We see this in marriage vows, but this is also the example that Jesus gives us when he washed his disciple’s feet, and when he died on the cross in our place.
    • 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 – commonly read at weddings, but actually intended as a description of the way we should love all people, not just married couples.
    • Love is staying up with a sick child throughout the night.
    • It is serving food at a soup kitchen.
    • It is letting your spouse choose what to watch on Netflix this evening.
    • It is giving of your resources to help someone in need.
    • It is putting the needs of others before your own needs.
  • Love is where we find our true selves
    • Henri Nouwen, “Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
  • If we are truly followers of Jesus, we will be people who love everyone, even the unlovable.
  • John 13:35 – “By this all people will know that you are my disciples…”

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