Saturday, February 14, 2009

Special Service on Marriage

Introduction: In this service our aim and objective is to affirm and give thanks to God for the enrichment of our lives through marriage. We have come here today to give thanks to God for the many blessings given to us in times of joy and in times of sorrow. Included in your service folders are the names of the couples within our Friedheim family from the couple who has been married the longest Marvin and Lorena Conrad (67 years) to our most recent married couple Aaron and Amber Conrad. (3 months)
There are 181 couples within our Friedheim family. The medium couple is Kent and Monica Stoppenhagen married September 22, 1990. 90 couples have been married longer, 90 couple have been married shorter.
In the past five years 40 couples have been married. 7 are scheduled to be married in 2009.

Is it only mere coincidence that Jesus’ first miracle happened within the context of a wedding? I would think not. As the Savior began His ministry performing a miracle no doubt, He is saying something significant to us. Where does the Savior choose to act? He chooses to act in the lives of His people. He chooses to act in your life. The signs which He displayed were not simply to show Himself off but to demonstrate what His power accomplishes for the people whom He loves.

Miracle texts are divided into three parts; they are easy for us to remember – someone’s in trouble, Jesus helps, and everyone’s happy. As the Savior intervenes in the lives of this nameless, faceless couple so He has promised to perform a miracle in your life as well.

1. Someone’s in trouble.
A. In this case they have no more wine.
1. This couple had planned for the best yet despite their best laid plans trouble came their way.

2. In any relationship, despite our best laid plans troubles come.
a. Financial

b. Health issues

c. Communication issues due to unresolved conflicts which may fester for years.

d. The “stuff of living”

B. Mary responds.

1. Apparently she knew the couple.

a. She had been invited along with Jesus and His disciples.

b. Have you invited Jesus to be at the center of your family living?

2. She knew Jesus could help

a. As yet Jesus hadn’t performed any miracles. He was “unknown” to most people.

b. Yet, she knew of the promises attributed to Him.

c. The advice to the servants is the best advice to anyone “whatever He tells us –Do it!”

1. His Word is clear

2. May we act on His Word!

2. A Miracle Happens! Jesus helps!

A. It is the Best the master of the feast had ever tasted

1. Jesus only gives the best.

2. There are no leftovers concerning Jesus

B. Would you think anything less of Jesus?

1. He will only act favorably toward His children.

2. This is how He chooses to act in your life.

3. The people rejoice as everyone is happy.

A. This miracle of Jesus had a powerful influence on the disciples.

1. John tells us that it was the first of Jesus miraculous sings.

2. It revealed His glory – His deity, His ability, His love – so powerfully that at once”His disciples put their faith in Him.

a. If they hadn’t believed in Him as Messiah before –they did now.

b. If they hadn’t believed firmly before, they did now.

c. Jesus made a radical change in the lives of His disciples. He brought them from unbelief to faith.

B. The miracles of Jesus are to make radical changes in your life.

1. The first radical change that He makes is to bring us, as He did the disciples, from unbelief to faith in Him as the One sent by God to save us from sin and every evil.

2. Through His gift of faith He restores us to God as His own forever through the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

a. In connection with this new faith relationship with God, Jesus begins radically to change the way we act.

b. We begin to become new creatures and to live for Him who died for us and rose again as St. Paul writes so clearly in 2 Corinthians 5.

c. Jesus also changes the ordinary circumstances of our lives for us as we turn to Him for guidance from day to day. He may order and radically alter our affairs and the affairs of people around us for our benefit. He bids us to love to Him for His intervention in every time of need. (Luke 11:9-10)

Conclusion: Jesus does not stop making radical changes in our lives. Because we are His, He is continually turning the water of our lives into excellent wine. He stays close to us in Word and Sacrament so that we move continually from unbelief to faith, from selfishness to love, from despair to hope. He enables us to learn from our sin and mistakes. He works in the evil that touches our lives to produce good as St. Paul explains in Romans 8:28-39. In this we experience the inspired water of our lives being radically changed into the best wine.

Today we rejoice with a bride and a groom of long ago that Jesus turned water into wine. It reminds us that He has made and does make radical changes that affect our lives. This is a time not only to recognize what he has done and to thank Him but also to look to Him today and every day for the radical changes that we so desperately need, especially for His gifts of faith and hoe and live. We are bold to do this not simply because He turned water into wine but because “he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who dies for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:15) We have beheld His glory, and we have put our faith in Him.

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