Thursday, January 22, 2015

This momentary gift.

"Let it be heralded with joy:...

Marriage is not mainly about prospering economically;
it is mainly about displaying the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church.
Knowing Christ is more important than making a living.
Treasuring Christ is more important than bearing children.
Being united to Christ by faith is a greater source of marital success than perfect sex and double-income prosperity.

...Life is precarious, and even if it is long by human standards, it is short.
“What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14). “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring” (Prov. 27:1).

So it is with marriage.
It is a momentary gift.

It may last a lifetime, or it may be snatched away on the honeymoon.
Either way, it is short.

It may have many bright days, or it may be covered with clouds...
But if we set our face to make of marriage mainly what God designed it to be,
no sorrows and no calamities can stand in our way.
Every one of them will be, not an obstacle to success, but a way to succeed.
The beauty of the covenant-keeping love between Christ and his church shines brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.

Very soon the shadow will give way to Reality.
The partial will pass into the Perfect.
The foretaste will lead to the Banquet.
The troubled path will end in Paradise.
A hundred candle-lit evenings will come to their consummation in the marriage supper of the Lamb. And this momentary marriage will be swallowed up by Life.

Christ will be all and in all. And the purpose of marriage will be complete.

To that end may God give us eyes to see what matters most in this life...
And may that Treasure so satisfy our souls...
that the marriage-watching world be captivated by
the covenant-keeping love of Christ."

Human Needs Global Resources Covenant, 2009

As fellow travelers on this journey, we commit to this covenant before God. Lord, in Your mercy, hear these our prayers:

When confronted with scarcity, need, and inadequacy, may we be nourished by the Bread of Life and the Cup of Salvation. Abundance overflows from Your table, sustaining all who come in faith. Father, help us.

When monotony blurs our vision and dulls our senses, may we encounter others as Christ did, through intentional presence in daily life, submitting as clay to be formed into vessels filled with the Spirit. Christ, guide us.

When wounded by the fractured condition of Your people, may we be united by Your Lordship in faith, hope, and love; seeing, as through the facets of a diamond, the beautiful spectrum of Your light reflected onto Your holy Church joined in praise. Spirit, empower us.

When all Creation groans, afflicted by injustice and driven to despair, may the promise of redemption root us in the hope of Your Kingdom: "Behold, I am making all things new!"

Holy Trinity, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart.