Greetings from Peter Mayer

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Dwell in Love"

Note- I was listening to Sting be interviewed on PBS. He spoke of juxtapositions. I've juxtaposed tomorrow's hymn of the day, "When Love is Found" with excerpts from the ELCA Social Statement:
Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust. On Sunday, August 8th we celebrate what we are calling "Marriage Sunday."

August 8, 2010
Lectionary 19
Proper 14                                                       
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Pastor Ronald T. Glusenkamp
Dwell in Love


9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.
12This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
John 15

Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

Authentic is a really important concept and approach to living and loving. It implies reliability, trustworthiness and originality. We talk a lot about being AAA Christians, Authentic, Available and Affirming.

One of the most authentic statements that is said in church comes from the Life Passages section of the ELW, in the Marriage Service. These words are often read   after the parents have been seated, after the groomsmen and bridesmaids have made their way up front, as the flower girl and the ring bearer have meandered they were forward coaxed on by anxious family members, and last but not least  as the bride and the groom have joined hands and now stand in front of the pastor and the congregation. Listen to these words,
“The Lord God in goodness created us male and female, and by the gift of marriage founded human community in a joy that begins now and is brought to perfection in the life to come.

Because of sin, our age-old rebellion, the gladness of marriage can be overcast and the gift of a family can become a burden. But because God, who established marriage, continues still to bless it with abundant and ever-present support, we can be sustained in our weariness and have our joy restored.” ELW- Marriage Service .

Years ago there was one guide on the Marriage liturgy that described this as “joy, sin, joy restored.” In other words, this takes us back to the garden, the Garden of Eden, to East of Eden and then to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was arrested and then crucified for our sake. Fortunately, Joy has been and is restored because of his resurrection.

This morning we are celebrating marriages. Little did Pastor Ruth Ann and I know when we scheduled this date almost a year ago that there would be a ruling on California’s Proposition 8, just four days before Marriage Sunday. Nor did we know, that Eat Pray Love  would be released just five days afterwards on (Friday the 13th) .We are grateful you are here to celebrate with our community.

Today’s sermon is interactive.  It is based on a lovely hymn by Brian Wren called, “When Love is Found.” Rick will give us an introduction and then
we’ll ALL sing verse ONE.

When Love Is Found

1          When love is found and hope comes home,
            sing and be glad that two are one.
            When love explodes and fills the sky,
            praise God and share our maker’s joy.

I recall a television program from the late 1960’s and early 1970’s called Love, American Style.
If I remember correctly the lead-in to the show always featured some kind of “fireworks.”  And you’ve experienced that explosion of love if you’ve found as the hymn Borning Cry states, “someone to make your verses rhyme.” Or as you’ve stood at a wedding and seen the joy, the hope and love which is clearly exhibited by the bride and the groom. Or many years later at a 50th or 60the wedding anniversary party, when the bride has to stand with a walked and the groom is in a wheelchair. When hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was and speech might even be halted or slurred because of a stroke or two, it is clear that love has been found and found over and over again.
We remember, Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

Verse two is sung by Brenda at 8 and 10:30am (at 9 it is sung by ALL)

2          When love has flow’red in trust and care,
            build both each day that love may dare
            to reach beyond home’s warmth and light,
            to serve and strive for truth and right.

Martin Luther called marriage, “the school for character.”

Throughout the sermon this morning you will hear quotes from the ELCA Social Statement
Human Sexuality- Gift and Trust Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust.

“Marriage is a covenant of mutual promises, commitment, and hope authorized
legally by the state and blessed by God. The historic Christian tradition
and the Lutheran Confessions have recognized marriage as a covenant
between a man and a woman, reflecting Mark 10: 6–9: ‘But from the beginning
of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man
shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall
become one  flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore
what God has joined together, let no one put asunder.’ (Jesus here recalls
Genesis 1:27; 2:23–24.) Lutherans long have affirmed that the public accountability of marriage, as expressed through a legal contract, provides the necessary social support
and social trust for relationships that are intended to be sustained throughout
life and within changing and often challenging life situations.” (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust p. 15-16)

We celebrate today that Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

Women sing verse three

3          When love is tried as loved-ones change,
            hold still to hope though all seems strange,
            till ease returns and love grows wise
            through list’ning ears and opened eyes.

“Marriage requires constant care and cultivation. It is intended to protect
the creation and nurturing of mutual trust and love as one foundation of
human community. It is a binding relationship that provides conditions for
personal well-being, the flourishing of the partner, and the possibility of
procreation and the nurturing of children. It also is intended to be a blessing
to the community and the world. Because of promises of fidelity and
public accountability, marriage provides a context of love, trust, honesty,
and commitment within which a couple can express the profound joy of
relationship as well as address the troubles they encounter throughout life.”
(Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust p. 16)

Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

Men sing verse four

4          When love is torn and trust betrayed,
            pray strength to love till torments fade,
            till lovers keep no score of wrong
            but hear through pain love’s Easter song.

“The Christian commitment to marriage recognizes that sin enters all relationships,
both within and outside the institution of marriage. All marriages
fall short of intentions, and difficulties are inevitable, both because of
the different needs and desires of the two individuals and because of sin,
which places the anxious concern for self before the needs of the other.
Infidelity to marriage promises betrays the intimate trust of the partner, the
security of the family, and the public trust of the community.
Precisely because marriage is the place where deep human trust and needs
abide, it also can be a place of great harm. Many experience neither love
nor trust within marriage. Harming another emotionally, physically, or spiritually,
including through the misuse or abuse of power, is a profound injury.
It also is a betrayal and violation of the shelter and trust that are intended
within the marriage relationship. Particular care must be taken to support
and find safe haven for all who are at risk within a marriage.” (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust p. 16-17)

“Love’s Easter song” invites all of us to begin each day as new creations, forgiven and redeemed. It calls us to be affirming and available to each other as we go through life for
Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”

We all sing verse five.
5          Praise God for love, praise God for life,
            in age or youth, in calm or strife.
            Lift up your hearts. Let love be fed
            through death and life in broken bread.

Text: Brian Wren, b. 1936
© 1983 Hope Publishing Co. All rights reserved.

“Despite its awareness of the presence of sin and failure in marriage, the
Christian tradition places great emphasis on the value of marriage for a
husband and wife. It is in marriage that the highest degrees of physical
intimacy are matched with and protected by the highest levels of binding
commitment, including legal protection. It is in marriage that public promises
of lifetime commitment can create the foundation for trust, intimacy,
and safety. Both the couple’s intent in their lifelong promises and the civil requirements
for marriage are important. Mutual promises of enduring care and
fidelity, made before God, allow a couple to open themselves to each other.
They permit the sharing of profound and tender affection as well as deep
vulnerabilities and anxieties. The legal contract creates a public arrangement
within which a couple may safely and equitably share their assets and
resources, arrive at joint decisions, anticipate children, protect and nurture
them, and plan for a shared future.” (Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust p.17-18)
Jesus said, “9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.”