The Bible uses the phrase “for forty days/years” to describe a very, very long time and for the most part it’s probably true. Sometimes it is not. More than forty years ago, I met someone and have been blessed with that person’s company ever since. It certainly has not seemed like a “very, very long time” in fact it’s hard to believe it’s been four decades. Then we look at our children – who are now in their midthirties – and their children who are growing up so quickly and we look at each other and have to admit it has been forty years. I also am happy to say I believe it was one heck of a good deal for a rib!
On May 15, 1976, our wedding day, the minister shared a short message from Ephesians 5:21-33. Thinking back on this, he was a brave man as this was approaching the peak time of the feminist movement and any mention of “wives submitting” could spark an angry debate. With a focus on the issues of love and respect for each other he helped us by setting a foundation of what has become a pretty solid relationship. Has it all been peaches and cream? Not a chance. There have been challenges along the way: learning to respect the fact that our thought processes are very different, learning to share the burden of decision making, learning to accept decisions made when I was away on duty, learning that we are not at the centre of our marriage – God is!
A few weeks ago, we took a week away from the rest of the world to spend time with each other. It was a grand time. We hiked the hills, we swam in the pool, we shared some fine meals and we simply enjoyed each other’s company. I strongly recommend this for any couple and not just on anniversaries.
Forty years is a long time and anniversaries are so special that it is important to celebrate them every year – and to never forget the reason we are celebrating. The Old Testament makes reference to many festivals and celebrations; yet, with the exception of the Passover (The Festival of Unleavened Bread) there is little mention of them in the New Testament. It doesn’t make the celebrations any less important, it’s that the New Testament, like its name, bears witness to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ – and these are definitely something worth celebrating! “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)
We remember Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf every year on Good Friday and, at Grace Church, every month when we celebrate communion. We celebrate the good news of the resurrection every year on Easter Sunday and every time we give thanks to God. Celebrations are something best shared; invite a friend, neighbour or family member to join with you in the celebration of the greatest gift ever given.
http:// www.sermoncentral.com/ sermons/the-godly-portrait-of -marriage-pt-1-dave-kinneysermon-on-marriage-general -126592.asp