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Four Funerals & A Wedding - The Wedding ::

NEIL ATWOOD & LUKE TATTERSALL share sermon ideas for funerals and weddings.

Source: Perspective Vo10 No3&4 ©Perspectve 2003

All five sermons in PDF format:

Wedding – 1 John 4:7-12

If you were to ask the average person in the street what was the most important ingredient for a marriage to work my guess is that say love.

And I guess that most people here today would agree with that. We’d all agree there are other things that are important that help make a marriage work. Things like communication, honesty, faithfulness, not leaving the toilet seat up, etc. But love would rate as probably the most important thing.

But love is one of those difficult words to define.

What does love mean? Is it that deep feeling that you have inside? Is it when you go weak at the knees at the sight of that person you love?

That is the idea that our world has about love – that it is a feeling I have that it is an emotion deep inside me. You only need to turn on the radio to realise that is how our sees love. Just about every song on the radio seems to be about love.
Mind you I’m not sure that people like Madonna and J-Lo have a whole lot to offer on the topic. But that doesn’t seem to stop them singing about it.

The idea of love that you get in songs on the radio was summed up beautifully in the classic song by Wet, Wet, Wet. It was a song made famous in the movie Four Weddings and a Funeral:

I feel it in my fingers I feel it in my toes The love that’s all around me And so the feeling grows

And the chorus goes on to say:

You know I love you, I always will My mind’s made up by the way that I feel (I would like to stop at this point and make two apologies. First, can I apologise to all the people who had that song at their wedding. Second, can I apologise to all those people who are now going to be humming that song for the rest of the day!)

But that is the idea we get about love, isn’t it? Love is a feeling that I have – a feeling down to my fingers and toes. I can say that I love you because I have made my mind up based on the way that I feel.
But that is not what love is. And that is certainly not the kind of love that is needed for a marriage.

The kind of love that you need for a marriage is the kind of love that gets talked about in the passage that was just read for us. I am not sure if you noticed this when the passage was being read – but it doesn’t have the word marriage, husband or wife in it.
But it is a great passage to have read out here today because it tells us everything we need to know about love.

Let me pick up on two things about love from this passage, two things that tell us about the kind of love that is needed for a marriage.

1. Love Shows Itself in Actions
How do we know that God loves us? Is it because he has that twinkle in his eye? Is it because he says “I love you”? We know that God loves us because of the way he acted towards us – because of what he has done.

Let me read you two of those verses again:

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. God sent his Son into this world for us. God acted out of love. Even when we were not worth loving God sent his son Jesus into this world to pay the penalty for our sin.

God sent his Son so that we could be forgiven and so that we could have a relationship with him. He could not have done anything to show his love to us more clearly than sending his Son.

This is the love that you will have to show to each other in your marriage. You need to show your love in actions. It needs to be practical…

You can say “I love you” as many times as you like but unless it is shown in your actions then it is not really love.

2. Love is Self-Sacrificing
The second thing about God’s love is that it was sacrificial.

The love that God showed to us was costly love. It was love that showed itself in self-sacrifice. There was no pressing need for God to show love to us. It’s not as if he needed us. We were the ones who desperately needed him.

We were the ones who had sinned against God. Yet he was willing to take the first step – he was willing to make the move toward us.

And that is the kind of love that you will need in your marriage. You need to be ready to love – even when you feel you have been WRONGED. You need to love – even when it may cost you. You need to love in a way that put the interests of the other person ahead of your own.

When two people come together in a marriage they bring with them a number of assets to the new relationship. There is furniture, cars, cooking utensils, perhaps even property or some savings. Without a doubt the most valuable asset that you two bring to this relationship is the fact that you know what it is to be loved by God.

You have a great reason to show love to each other. You know what it is for God to love you.

If you can remember how much God has loved you through his Son, Jesus, then it will give you a model for how they are to love each other, it will help you to not be selfish, it will help you to give priority to the interests of your partner.

Let me read those two verses again:

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Luke Tattersall is minister at the Parramatta City Presbyterian Church, Sydney

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These are articles dealing more broadly with the general topic of preaching.

There are sample sermons for those challenging occasions like funerals and weddings, articles looking at preaching on difficult topics such as sex, and even the full text of an evangelistic sermon based on Isaiah!

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