Todd A. Peperkorn, STM
Messiah Lutheran Church
Marriage of Jamie Jacobs and Mitchel Kauppila
June 26, 2010
TITLE: “The Wedding Feast”
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, especially to you, Jamie and Mitch. Our text for today is taken from I Corinthians 13 as well as from John chapter 2.
We don’t know who the couple are in our text. We never even get their names. We don’t know how they met. We don’t know about their parents, we don’t know what they did for a living. Did they grow up with Jesus? Were they cousins or some other shirt-tail relatives? We really don’t know anything about them at all.
You can almost imagine the picture. Maybe it wasn’t that different from the picture here today. A young couple, the families are all gathered for the joyous occasion. Friends, neighbors, schoolmates, relatives from near and far were there. You could sense the nervous energy, the joy and excitement, coupled with just a hint of uncertainty in the air. Will everything go just right? What will our lives be like together? How will we live? Where will we live? Will God bless us with children?
I’m sure many of these same thoughts and more have been running through your minds, Mitch and Jamie. You are preparing to embark on a wondrous journey together. It is an adventure, but if we’re honest with ourselves, it’s also a little scary. You don’t know what your lives will be like a month, a year, ten years or more from now. You don’t know whether it will be easy or hard, and what oddities will happen along the way. (Since you’re a Jacobs, Jamie, I’m pretty certain there will be oddities along the way…)
But there is one thing we know about the couple in our text. They invited the mother of our Lord to the wedding, and they invited Jesus Himself. Perhaps in the hubbub of the wedding this little fact didn’t seem all that important. Perhaps He was just one more person to check off. Aunt Matilda. Check. Uncle Maynard. Check. Jesus from over in Nazareth. Check. Oh, and make sure you invite His mother. She always wants to be there when He’s around.
But little known to them, inviting Jesus to the wedding was the most important thing that happened in all their planning. Disaster struck! They ran out of wine. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, but to them, this was huge. Everyone would think they were cheap, rude, and didn’t really care for all of the guests that had been invited. After all that planning, all that work, to think that something should go wrong! Oh the horror of it all.
Will disaster strike today or during your married life together? I hope not, but it’s possible. For richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, you will pledge to each other in a few minutes. Life has a way to getting in the way of all of our great ideas sometimes. It is important that we recognize today that the joy of married life isn’t that there are no problems. The joy is that you will face them together, with Christ.
In the case of the couple in our text, Jesus was there at just the right time. He turns water into wine, saves the wedding, and all is well. Now, in the global scale of wedding disasters, running out of wine doesn’t seem like a big deal, does it? Yet this miracle, this sign is the very first one that Jesus ever did.
This tells us something about how much God loves you, Jamie and Mitch. God is present for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health. In a very real sense, God has bound Himself to each of you already in the waters of Holy Baptism, and now He binds the two of you together in Him. The book of Ecclesiastes says it well: “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:12 ESV) Christ Himself is the cord that binds the two of you together.
It is for this reason that St. Paul calls marriage a picture of the love that Christ has for His bride, the Church. Christ loves us to death, literally. He died for you and me and all of us, so that we might live in Him forever. Your love for Jamie, Mitch, is a little picture of Christ’s love for us all, and your love for Mitch, Jamie, teaches us all why we are free to love Christ as His bride, the Church. Your marriage brings us all back to Eden, where God’s love for Adam and Eve brought the whole world into being.
We don’t know the couple in our text this morning, but we know you, and everyone here rejoices in God’s mercy at bringing the two of you together. But more important that our well wishes is the fact that Jesus is here, at your wedding. He comes to bless you, to stand with you every step of the way, and to draw you into each other all the rest of your lives. Welcome to the family. Welcome to Paradise. Amen.