Rev. D. K. Schroeder
John 15, 9-13
July 7, 2007
TEXT: [Jesus said to his disciples]
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my
love. If you obey my commands, you will
remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his
love. I have told you this so that my
joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love
each other as I have loved you. Greater
love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”
It’s been 14 years ago this month
that my phone rang in my home in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia, where I
was serving as a pastor. I was informed
that there was a young girl from Lincoln who had been involved in a
near-drowning incident, and was at one of the local hospitals.
I then went to a local motel, where
I met three very anxious and worried people. That was when I met Mike, Darlene, and Adam Harris. They had flown in from Lincoln to be with
their daughter Allison who was lying comatose in a bed in the hospital.
The outlook wasn’t good. She had been too long without oxygen. If she survived this ordeal, she would likely
be in a vegetative state for the rest of her life. She had the best medical care available
anywhere. But modern medicine does have
its limitations, and basically the doctors had been doing all that they could.
As I recount the hours and days I
spent with Allison and her family at her bedside, we talked to her and
stimulated her; and we prayed. We prayed
that God would work a miracle. St. Paul’s
congregation in Maryborough became our support network, and they prayed as
well. Allison’s entire future was laid
before the throne of our Almighty God, and we prayed that his will would be
done in her healing and recovery.
It’s a long story; but to make it
short, the evidence of God’s love and healing touch is evident here today as it
is my distinct honor and privilege to be able to officiate at Allison’s and
The Christian faith is a faith which
is permeated with miracles. The virgin
birth of Jesus—it’s a miracle. Jesus’
physical resurrection from the dead—it’s a miracle. Plus we have records of the miracles Jesus
performed himself. His very first
miracle was at a wedding in Cana, where he changed the water into wine. Then there were his healing miracles—he made
the blind man see, he cured the leper, he made the lame man walk, and he even
brought the dead back to life.
A miracle by its very definition is
something that goes contrary to the laws of nature or the natural order of
things. In this day and age, people
don’t like to accept things that their reason and intellect won’t allow, so
they relegate the miracles of God to the realm of myth and folklore.
But the miracle in Allison’s life is
no myth. When the medical professionals
had done what they could, God took over and worked a miracle. This is evidence that God still can and does
work miracles in the lives of his children.
I have chosen as your wedding text
today a portion of John’s gospel where Jesus is speaking about love. He has openly shown you his love in your
lives, and he will continue to do so as he blesses your married life together.
The Christian views love in a unique
way. It isn’t based upon romance, or
feelings, or upon other flimsy criteria. Rather, it is based upon the love of Jesus. Husbands and wives are to love each other in
the same way that Jesus has loved us. This is a sacrificial love, which involves putting someone else ahead of
one’s self. And it is a love which can never wane or cease.
Sin is a problem in this world, and
it will affect you and your marriage. You might not realize it now, and you might not think it will be a
problem; but it will, trust me. Sin is the
cause of 50% of the marriages in this country which end in divorce, and that
isn’t God’s plan for husbands and wives at all.
However if your faith is firmly
placed in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, you will receive forgiveness
for your sins, just as if they never happened at all. Jesus’ love for you took him all the way to
the cross on Calvary, where he paid for your sins and the sins of the whole
world in full. He loved you so much that
he gave his life for you.
Therefore, a love which is
Christ-like will be forgiving and accepting. You are to forgive each other like Christ forgave you, and love each
other all the more. If you keep this
perspective intact, you will indeed have a strong marriage.
You have chosen to be married in a
Christian wedding, which means that you want God’s blessing on your life
together. In order to do that, look to
the Bible which will tell you what God’s will is for your life. Jesus asks you to do what he commands out of
love for him, and he is to be your first and most important love.
God has worked a miracle in your
lives. You are able to get married today
because God worked a healing miracle. You are able to accept Jesus Christ as your Saviour because God the Holy
Spirit worked the miracle of faith in your hearts. Our God is indeed a God of miracles.
Therefore, always keep your
priorities straight. Strive with his
help to make your home a Christian home. Keep Jesus as your central focus. He promises that he will never leave you nor forsake you. Just keep asking for his strength and
blessing in your life together.
Dear Lord Jesus, as you blessed the
marriage feast at the wedding at Cana in Galilee, we ask you now to bless us
all as we are assembled here today. We
thank you for the many blessings you have shown to each of us in our lives, and
we praise you as the Lord and Saviour of our lives.
We ask your continued blessing upon
Allison and Monty, that they may be your faithful servants, always mindful of
your rightful place in their lives.
As we prepare to partake of this
meal, we thank you for the daily nourishment you provide us from your
bountiful, gracious, and loving hand.
We pray this in your name, dear
Jesus; for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, ever one
God, world without end. Amen.