Last week, the day after Thanksgiving, I had the honor of speaking at my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary celebration. Some family members have since asked for the words to that sermonette, so here they are. Thank you, Grandma and Grandpa, for inspiring such ideas!
There is this wonderful word tucked away in Psalm 47 which came to life for me as I thought about what I might say today. It reads, God chose our heritage for us (Psalm 47). This strikes both a note of grace and mercy for us today. Grace because today we celebrate the joy and love of such a heritage and give thanks for numerous ways grandma and grandpa’s shared lives have had a profound impact on so many. Mercy because the shade this family tree provides, under which we are gathered here today, is similar to the shade of another tree, the cross of Christ, which summons us, even demands of us, a response.
God has chosen our heritage for us and we would do well today, even in the midst of great celebration, to inspect the fruit of our own trees.
As I told people why were making the trip from TN to PA – that my grandparents were celebrating their 60th year as a couple – the responses I received were all the same: wow, you don’t see that very often.
Sad, but true. What is so sad and tragic about this observation is the lack of testimony on God’s earth of the sacredness of covenant between two people and the witness it should provide the world of God’s solidarity with us.
I don’t think grandma and grandpa would mind me saying that what we celebrate here today should not be considered a miracle or something extraordinary but what ought to be commonplace, particularly among those who claim to live under the shade of the cross. Marriages that persevere through decade after decade, which carry on through seasons of feast or famine, which determine to live by faith rather than feelings, which make a choice to love in the same way God has made a choice for us ought to be the rule rather than the exception among we who have been given such a heritage.
God has chosen our heritage for us. It is fitting that we should take this time to consider how we will honor God’s choice towards us, even as we honor my grandma and grandpa. Such is God’s mercy.
God has chosen our heritage for us. It is fitting to celebrate today the race Grandma and Grandpa have run and continue to run. We are all benefactors of their steadfastness. Grandma and Grandpa, I hope the presence of all of these here today says to you how much your marriage has touched so many lives. Such is God’s grace.