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®TP2¯®PL49¯®OF2¯®RM51¯®IP0,3¯Maggie Binnebose & Larry Vogt - January 26,1991

Texts: Eccl 3:1-8; 1 Cor 13


Well, it's ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯! You called me a few weeks ago and said that it was about ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ that you got married.

Did you ever think this ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ would come when you first met while working together at the Safari South restaurant?

Did you ever think it would take so much ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ to get to this day from the ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ when you were together in Oklahoma?

In the last few week since you decided to get married, did you think you were going to have enough ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ to get everything done?

"There is a ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ for every matter under heaven," says the author of Ecclesiastes, and we all better hope he's telling the truth.

For there are so many busy-work little matters on this earth that take up so much of our ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯ it is a wonder that we do ever get anything done that really does matter--like getting married.

Strangely enough, though, in that long list of things there are times for, nowhere is it mentioned that there is a time for marriage.

He does say that there is a time to speak--you'll be speaking your vows soon--a time to embrace--you can do that later--and a time for love.

And perhaps more than anything, a wedding is a time for love, isn't it, so it is a good time for us to be here.®PG¯

Yet I'm still bothered by what the Ecclesiastes author says: he says that there is a time for love, but in the same very breath he also claims that there is a time for hate.

How can this be? How can love and hate go together?

Paul, in the 1 Cor lesson we read, says that love is patient and kind, it is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way. It is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Evidently Ecclesiastes and Paul are not talking about the same kind of love. The one says love is for a time. The other says love is forever.

The one says that love is ®MDRV¯only®MDNM¯ for a ®MDRV¯time®MDNM¯. The other says that love is the greatest of the things that ®MDRV¯abide®MDNM¯.

The difference, you see, between the two loves here described is that Ecclesiastes describes the nature of human love; 1 Cor describes the nature of divine, godly love.

My guess is that you already know what human love is like. It does have its times, but at times it gives way to hate or to sorrow or to joy.

This love explains how it is that we can hurt someone whom we love and then feel so sorry about it afterwards. Mere human love reflects the ebb and flow of a relationship.®PG¯

You are going to live with this kind of love, but you are going to need more for your marriage to last. For as it says, this kind of love is only for a time.

Human love is good, don't get me wrong, but there is a still more excellent way.

That's why my prayer for you today is that you will also know the joy of God's love in your love together. With God, your love will remain strong through the ups and downs of joys and sorrows. With God your love will always grow in times of both bad and good, sickness and health, poverty and wealth. With God, your love will last for all time.

To know such a love takes time. It requires that we make time for it too: to make time to be renewed by the love of God and then to take time to renew your love for each other.

There will be doubtless be times when such love seems more than you are capable of, but the promise I declare to you today is that God's love will be with you at all times.

And so now, it's time. [Go directly to prep for vows]

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