Sunday, March 22, 2015

From I Do to Ever After

Scripture Texts: Numbers 21:1-9; John 3:14-17; 1 Corinthians 10:5-12

Despite the fact that the people of God continue to grumble and complain God continues to be present with them. Even when the complaining brings consequences, the remedy is relatively simple. In this case the people needed to look at a bronze replica of a snake and they would be healed. That is it, just looking at the bronze replica and be rescued.

Fast forward to the days of Jesus walking the earth and the cycle of complaining and unfaithful people was still underway. Likewise the remedy is not complicated, believe in Jesus as Messiah and you will be rescued from sin and death. No complicated system of rituals and hoops to jump through. Plain and simple believe Jesus was who he says he was and you are rescued.

The challenge comes in what happens after that. Deciding to follow Jesus is not the end of the journey, in fact it is the beginning. The rescue is simple, life after the rescue is where the real work is found. We are called to live a life that is constantly transforming to reflect the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ. This is a lifetime of work that is often more challenging than it seems like it should be.

We have been to many weddings in our time. Some are more complicated than others, however the actual consecration of a marriage is a simple process. The real challenge comes after the wedding and all the celebration. Cultivating a fulfilling marriage goes way beyond the ceremony and into the daily life everafter. Even with all the forces that can make the wedding day a challenge, the real work of marriage is done throughout the rest of our lives as we fulfill the vows we pledged on that day.

Like our relationship with Jesus, our marriage is a daily investment. Our time, talent, treasure and effort will need to be invested in the development of our marriage into the marriage God is leading us toward. That day nearly 16 April's ago was a glorious and wonderful day. That day was also just a moment that began the rest of our lives. The real work of our marriage was not the wedding but everyday since.

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