60 On the Clock Word on the Week 5th June 2021.
Anniversaries inexorably arrive! They take their subjects somewhat by surprise. Certain of them are anticipated. The big ticket occasions! Then there are those, although significant enough in themselves, arrive rather late for festivities! The big 60 which Betty and I celebrated this week falls into this category.
Of course, even if we had been so minded, the advent of Covid and the limitations to gatherings imposed by the powers that be would curtail any plans to breakout. There is also the matter of the ages of the chief participants which, despite relatively good health, impose their own limits!
It is worth casting the mind back to those moments in June, 1961, when, on my knees in front of the church, we heard the Minister utter those powerful words, “What God hath joined let no man put asunder” (St Matthew Chapter 19 verse 6). This was a Covenant of Companionship for life. The import of those words hit me with a freshness that came from them being personal and by God’s grace have remained with us to this day.
In this day and age, we need to define marriage. It is between one man and one woman in a monogamous relationship for life. In the beginning in addition to companionship, God said they were to be fruitful and increase in number (Genesis Chapter 1 verse 28). God has blessed us with four wonderful children, each blessed in marriage. These marriages in turn have been fruitful and we praise God for each of our 10 grandchildren.
Where there is no marriage, there may be some trust but no acknowledged commitment. By its nature commitment unacknowledged empties the word of meaning. These transitory affairs may appear to be fulfilling God’s purpose but are drawing water from a well that can never satisfy (St John Chapter 4 verse 13).
God’s creation of image bearers is in the plural. It is ‘man and woman, male and female, He created them’ (Genesis Chapter 1 verse 27). Just as God is more than one so to be in his imagine we need to be more than one. Some believers have the gift of singleness but they are the exception. Marriage is the rule.
We do not know how much longer we will be here but what lies ahead is the marriage feast of the Lamb. All who are part of his Church, the Bride, called through the gospel of grace, to the marriage supper of the Lamb – Hallelujah (Revelation Chapter 19 verses 6 to 9).