A Guest Post by Gregory Brawn
This is the eighth in a series of posts engaging with the sermons in Leaps of Faith: Sermons from the Edge. This post is a reflection upon a wedding sermon entitled “You Have Saved the Best till Now” (pp. 154-159). The Scriptural text for the sermon was John 2:1-11.
In July of 2010, Rob’s sister was married at the Dean’s home congregation of Byron United Church in London, Ontario. Having known the family for three years, it was a pleasure to officiate at the ceremony and to hear Rob preach at his sister’s wedding. Wedding guests provide a very different preaching opportunity than a normal Sunday congregation. This wedding sermon, while shorter than a typical sermon, is packed full of the three components that make for a beautiful wedding sermon.
First, it lifts up God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and how this God of love is and will be at work in the life of the bride and groom. Rob’s primary text is Jesus’ wedding miracle in Cana, but he makes rich references to many other Biblical passages in this tour-de-force sermon – from Adam and Eve to the Bride of Christ in Revelation.
Second, Rob includes many specific personal references to the wedding couple – their pets, hobbies, and careers. It is obvious that Rob worked diligently to craft this sermon specifically for his sister’s wedding, preaching the Gospel to family members, in-laws and friends as this unique opportunity afforded. His personal references bring with them the assurance that God and everyone present supports this young couple and their life-long commitment to their Christian marriage.
Third, weddings are a jovial celebration, and Rob thoughtfully sprinkles humour throughout his proclamation of the Gospel – again as only family can do. From the opening humourous anecdote to the closing presentation of a bottle of wine to the special couple, including poignant words rich with Christian symbolism and grace, Rob provided good-natured laughs for the wedding couple and the gathered congregation of guests.
This unique and personalized wedding sermon demonstrates Rob’s dedication to appropriately proclaiming the Gospel to a mix of family, friends and strangers. It was a pleasure to hear him preach this loving message in person, and a delight for me to read it now seven years later.
Gregory Brawn is the pastor of Byron United Church in London, Ontario.