A Charge to the Couple,
John Beckman and Lindsey Counts
at their Wedding on 8/2/2014
St. Timothy Lutheran Church
Pastor Rafe Allison
Rev. Andrew Counts
John and Lindsey, as I put on this stole, I step out of my role as father of the bride and into my role as a father in the Church of God. The symbol embroidered on this stole is that of two gold rings intertwined around the cross – a mini- homily itself about the nature of Christian marriage – specifically that two individuals, male and female, are united by God in Jesus Christ to become one.
At the moment you are pronounced Man and Wife, you are no longer separate people pursuing your own destinies , but one unit, joined together metaphysically in Christ. Body, Soul and Spirit join to become one with each other and also one with Christ and His body, the Church. That’s why we’re here and that’s why I’m really pleased, as both types of father that you have asked to be married here in this church.
By coming here to this building and being married in a Christian worship service, you are saying that you desire to live your married life within the community of this church locally and within the universal church globally.
Those of us who are gathered to celebrate your joy are also members of this one great community and witnesses to your desire to live in and be supported by the community. So this simple ceremony draws you out of your individual lives, singly pursued, into shared life with one another and with Christ and His body – and we couldn't be happier!
I assure you that countless prayers have been offered for you both by your biological families and your new church family. And on behalf of all of us gathered here to rejoice with you, I welcome you and pray for you every blessing in heaven and earth!
I also charge you with two great Missions – to Love one another, and to Respect one another. Although two become One mystically in Christ, it’s perfectly obvious that you are still two unique and complementary – and contradictory(!) human beings – and that many of your differences, 69% to be precise – will never be resolved!
That’s why you need Love and Respect. It’s not enough to be attracted to each other and to cherish attributes you admire. You also have to respect your differences and to accept that these differences make you who you are. In fact, you need these 'irresolvable' differences to help mold you into something more than you can be individually: the family we will now call John and Lindsey Beckman. And if God grants you children, the Beckmans with the little stick figures on the back of the SUV or mini-van of your choice.
John and Lindsey, Love one another! Be Kind to one another, tender-hearted and forgiving, even as God in Christ has forgiven you. Be quick to listen and slow to defend yourself, Quick to forgive and loathe to resent. Respect each other as Persons made in the Image of God, accurately matched and MISmatched for the task ahead of you – to live out your lives together as one in Christ and members of this gathered community – a community that pledges to you our support in this noble calling to be Husband and Wife.
Love one another and be assured of our love for you. Receive our blessing, in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN!