Bethlehem Lutheran Church and Bethel Lutheran Church, Lebanon and Sweet Home, OR
2nd Sunday after the Epiphany + January 14, 2018
Text: John 2:1-11
Why did this wedding take place on Tuesday? That’s what the 3rd day was, after all (Sunday is the first day, etc.). The third day was the day of double blessing. In creation, God saw what He had made and declared it good. First, the separating of land and sea, and second the splendor of plant life. Nevertheless, God blesses the third day, and so Jewish couples would get married on Tuesday.
But to talk about blessing when Jesus is present at this wedding, is to make this more than an event for one couple. On this day of Double Blessing, the very One through whom that good came is present. The Lord blesses marriage with His presence.
The Word of the Lord says in Psalm 127,
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
Of course we believe that God blessed marriage for Adam and Eve. But the more incredible thing about Jesus being at this wedding is that God blesses marriage here, on our side of the fall into sin.
Just ask around though, and see how few marriages look blessed—if they last at all. From our perspective, the double blessing upon marriage too often ends up being a sizeable material blessing for lawyers.
If you’re looking for God’s blessing upon marriage, don’t look below. The reason God blesses marriage is the same reason He sets the Third Day apart as sacred.
Jesus is at this wedding as one who is engaged (not in the ordinary sense). He has promised Himself to His Bride, the faithful people of God, the Church. For Him, marriage is not first something we do in commitment to each other; it’s what He does for His redeemed
“25…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Ephesians 5:25–27)
The gift He gave His bride was His own life to save her from death, His own blood to wash her from filth, and His own righteousness with which He clothes her.
For Christ and His Bride, the Church, the Third Day truly is a day of double blessing, for it is the day on which He completed His great act of love and faithfulness. For Him and His Bride, it is not “till death do you part” but “to be united unto eternal life.”
It’s God’s will that our earthly marriages reflect that as much as we are able. Yet for sinful husbands and wives, repentant divorcees, and grieving widows, our Bridegroom’s double blessing gives forgiveness, renewal, and everlasting hope.