Thursday, August 16, 2012

WEDDING OF YVES NTARE MUSIINE AND NICOLE KAMANA


Bride, Nicole Kamana; and her sister and Maid of Honor, Isabella
“Who gives Nicole away?”

“Her family and I” - FRANCIS

·         Introduction: 

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together in the sight of God and in the face of these witnesses to join together this man, Yves Musiine and this woman, Nicole Kamana in Holy Matrimony.   Marriage is an honorable institution, instituted by God, signifying the union of Christ and His Church.   It is not to be entered lightly, but thoughtfully in the fear of God.

·         PRAYER OF BLESSING:

“Our Holy Sovereign Father,
We gather today to unite Yves and Nicole in marriage.   We believe this day has been planned by you from before Creation.   We believe you intend for their marriage to display Your glory.   May you dwell in our presence today.   May today be one for Your honor.   May you bless the marriage of Yves and Nicole.   May their home be filled with children, family, and friends.   May their home be a place where we all find joy and wisdom.   May coming generations be blessed by the events of today.
We ask these matters in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen

1 Corinthians 13 - Love Is the Greatest – Reading by Mucho

Yves and Family
13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;[a] but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages[b] and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10 But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11 When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.[c] All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

13 Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

·         Sermon:

The Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote to church in Ephesus, 

Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.

God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan regarding Christ, a plan to fulfill his own good pleasure. 10 And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan. (Ephesians 1:4-11, The New Living Translation.)

Paul in writing to Ephesus told the big picture history of God and humanity.   One of my favorite professors in seminary, Dr. Ed Mathews stated it with this sound bite, “God was a Redeemer before He was a Creator.   God is Omniscient.   He knows everything.  Before He created the world He knew what would become the future.   Those God created in His own image would betray Him.   God’s nature of Holiness could not tolerate such an affront.   The only way for humanity to be restored to God’s intent would be the sacrifice by horrible death of God’s Own Son.    

If I was constructing a building and I foresaw the building would cost the life of my son I would terminate the project.   In fact, I would tear it down.

Yet, God chose before Creation that He was a Redeemer.   He would pay the price to redeem His Creation.

We call this story the Gospel.   Literally, it means Good News.   The story is timeless.  All need to hear it.  All must make a choice with eternal consequences.   All can be blessed by the Gospel.

As God describes the process of the Gospel restoring humanity family illustrations are used.   One of the most enduring is the parable Jesus spoke of the Lost Son (Luke 15).   Jesus told this story to make it abundantly clear – God is an mzee who runs to forgive and restore.

Theologians notice two family metaphors used to explain the Gospel.   They are Adoption and Marriage.   These illustrations are timeless.   Both the Old and New Testament use these illustrations of Adoption and Marriage to explain God’s love for created humanity.   

In Ezekiel 16 God uses the parable of adoption to explain that all humanity is like a child abandoned and left to die in a field.   Yet, instead of the child dying by exposure; God rescues the child, incorporates her into his family, and blesses her future as a treasured jewel.   

God describes this love in Isaiah 49 with these words, 

“Can a mother forget her nursing child?
    Can she feel no love for the child she has borne
?
But even if that were possible,
    I would not forget you!

 See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.
(Isaiah 49:15,16, New Living Translation.)”

God describes humanity as “made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27).”   As such it our both our nature and responsibility to see, feel, speak, and do the actions of God.   How do we do this?

Paul made it clear.   Our lives are part of God’s grand history.   He intends for all things on heaven and earth to be brought under the authority of Christ.   It is part of God’s eternal plan for us to marry, celebrate, produce children, adopt children, and build on earth the institutions that bless future generations until the Lord returns.   

Marriage is the first institution God created to bless future generations.

God’s word states in Genesis 1, 

“The Lord God said,
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
But for Adam[a] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[b] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[c] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man. ”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.
25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame (Genesis 1:18-25.  New International Version.)”.

God is the Designer of Marriage.   He saw the first man’s loneliness and said, “It is not good for man to be alone.”  God sees our circumstances and understands our deepest loss and loneliness.   He will not leave us alone.   God says, “I will make a helper for him.”  

The purpose of marriage is to help one another in the responsibilities of life.   God brings a man and woman together to fulfill both their deepest longings and God’s intent for their marriage to display His glory.   They leave the comforts of their past homes and form a new one.   In this process our community is blessed by their shared wisdom, joy, and service.  

  In the Holy Institution of Marriage their extended families are united for purposes beyond today’s capacity.   This process involves both an honoring of the past heritage, and a separation from the past’s limitations.   A new authority structure begins with their marriage as the man leaves his father and mother to be united with his wife.

There is no shame in marriage.   Children are produced.   Children are adopted.   Godly offspring fill the earth.   Their home is full of laughter and grief, joy and comfort, wisdom and grace.
  Their home becomes a meeting point for a community.   Children for generations fill the home.   Plans are made for these children.  Institutions are created for these children.   

The legitimacy of these marriages are displayed by a lifelong commitment, the approval of the extended families and culture, compliance to government regulation, and most importantly a shared faith community blessing the new marriage.  

Our marriages display the relationship all of us who believe in Jesus share.   The Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, 

 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.                                   
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.   (Ephesians 5:21-33.  New International Translation.)”

            Many in their reading of this text miss the introduction.   Before Paul discusses the roles of a husband and wife he gives us an endearing sound bite that sums up following Christ in community.   We all must submit to one another.   We look to others interests before our own.  We seek their good.   We put aside our interests to serve others.   We trust God to be our personal and communal sustainer.  

            This radical vision of following Christ raises questions rapidly.   What if someone takes advantage of me?   What if I am misunderstood?   What if I am left alone at loss?

            Yes, life in faith requires humility, courage, and trust.   After all, marriage symbolizes the very nature of the Gospel.   How do we flawed humans find hope?

            God wades in when life is messy.   He sacrifices the life of His Son to save humanity.
            Husbands you must live in this profound responsibility.   You must turn off ESPN and the news when the family is messy.   You must listen well.   You must discern.   You must labor.   You must guide.   You must heal.   You must be willing to give up all the temporary comforts of this earth for a greater good.   Your life must be considered nothing.    Your family needs you to sacrifice as Christ sacrificed for the Church.

            Wives, in such a sacred relationship you must submit to your husbands.   It is interesting that Paul does not command you to love.   However, obedience is part of love, and love becomes a natural outflow when the one you follow sacrifices deeply.    In seasons of mystery, you must trust and choose to follow.

            The reason we live in these profound mysteries is because of the Gospel.   God chose to use the illustrations of family to communicate His deepest intentions for humanity.   These illustrations are Adoption and Marriage.   With these illustrations we have the profound human responsibility to proclaim the Gospel – The Hope of the World.

·         Declaration:

“Do you Yves take Nicole as your wife to live together in the holy state of marriage?
“I do”

“Do you Nicole take Yves as your husband to live together in the holy state of marriage?
“I do”

·         Vows: 

“Take each other’s right hand and repeat after me”
 “I, Yves take you Nicole as 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”
“Forsaking all others”
“Till death do us part”

“I, Nicole take you Yves as my husband”
“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”
“Forsaking all others”
“Till death do us part”

·         Exchange of Rings

Nicole and Ring Bearer
“Rings represent a symbol of eternal love and commitment with no start or finish.”

“Yves place the wedding ring on Nicole’s left hand ring finger and repeat after me:”

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love”

“And with all that I am and all that I have”

“I honor you”

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”

“Nicole place the wedding ring on Yve’s left hand ring finger and repeat after me:”

“I give you this ring as a symbol of my love”

“And with all that I am and all that I have”

“I honor you”

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”

·         Unity Candle:

"The two outside candles have been lit by Yves and Nicole’s aunties to represent their lives to this moment. The lights, representing the faith, wisdom, and love they have received from their families.
Now they will light the unity candle from these outside lights.   As they join now in marriage, there is a merging of these two lights into one light.

 This is what the Lord meant when He said, "On this account a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall be one flesh." From now on your thoughts shall be for each other. Your plans shall be mutual, your joys and sorrows shall be shared alike.
Each of you take a candle and together light the center one, to represent the union of your lives. As this one light cannot be divided, neither shall your lives be divided but a united testimony in a Christian home. May the radiance of this one light be a testimony of your unity in the Lord Jesus Christ.

·         Proclamation:
Yves and Groomsmen

 “As Yves and Nicole have consented to marriage in the presence of these witnesses and given their vows to one another, as a minister of the gospel, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

“You may kiss the bride”


“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”

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