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Ceremony Excerpt



A ceremony excerpt, based on 1 John; 1-7

     Dear friends: We are gathered here in the presence of God and these witnesses to unite this couple in holy marriage, Bride and Groom, the two of you are embarking upon an adventurous voyage across the restless sea of the rest of life. You are standing now at the helm of a home about to be launched. The water here in the bay is calm, but soon within days and months, the winds will blow harder and the waves will curl higher. As you plow the deep you'll pass over the watery graves of millions of sunken ships of marriages that were overcome by the billows, smashed by the rocks, and confused in the storms by defective compasses.
     Today I'm going to give you a compass that works. It has two points, and if both of you keep both of these points aligned, you'll surely and safely arrive at the heavenly harbor together at the end of your earthly voyage. The two compas points are two simple instructions based on a verse of Scripture: 1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
     The first needle of direction is this: Walk with the Master. The second compass point is: Work on the marriage. One of these without the other is as useless to your union as one of you without the other. But both of them aligned in both your lives will provide accurate navigation even in the wildest typhoons. Walk with the Master and work on the marriage.
     The reason I can give you this golden compass is because, based as it is upon 1 John 1:7, it comes straight from the Lord Himself who said in that verse: If we walk in the light of His presence, we will have fellowship with one another and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin.
     Now if this ship that we are launching today on the sea of matrimony is the fellowSHIP of 1 John 1:7, Jesus Christ will be the captain, and the relationSHIP will be a godly partnerSHIP, not a godless battleSHIP.
     It will sail on, when the soft winds of pleasant days blow across it.
     It will sail on, when the whirlpools of financial hardship swirl around it.
     It will sail on, when the bright clouds of parental responsibility drift above it.
     It will sail on, when the billows of misunderstanding, sickness, tragedy, and death crash against it.
     It will sail on, because it will be steered by Jesus Christ, blown on its way by the winds of the Holy Spirit. And it will be loaded with the priceless cargo of that biblical sort of love that does so much, remains so constant, forgives so frequently, acts so sensitively.
     The Bible teaches us to let our hearts be knit together in love. There will be times when it will seem easier to quit than to knit--but it is not. Just keep on knitting your hearts together, commiting yourselves to Christ, submitting yourselves to each other, ommiting the curse of bad habits from your home, and emmiting the fruit of the
spirit in the context of a godly family life.
     This is God's plan for you--His fellowship of love and excitement for all those who walk with the Master and work on the marriage.
My promise to you is but a simple one. I will love you today and every day that follows until the end of time. With the passing of every minute, my love for you grows stronger and my devotion grows deeper. I will love and cherish you until my eyes can no longer see your beauty, my ears can no longer hear your loving words, and my hands can no longer feel your tender caress. From this moment until my dying breath, you are my love... you are my life. ______________________________________________________________________________________