Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vow do you do?

I went to an old friend's wedding a little while back. And I was struck again bu some of the scary things people say at weddings. I don't mean the best man's speech either.

Take “till death do us part,” for instance. (Phew – I mean, for good? What if I change my mind?)

Perhaps that’s why marriage, like any commitment, is increasingly off the contemporary agenda. Just move in together. And when the feeling fades, move on apart.

People even speak of “commitment-phobia”. One pained blogger wrote: “I suffer from commitment phobia. I have been with my girlfriend for nearly six months, yet this condition is doing its best to ruin everything. As a commitment-phobe, I feel that I must run away. But commitment-phobia means that I cannot commit to running away either.”

Somewhere in our marrow we know that this is ridiculous. “Commitment-phobia” is just selfishness in disguise. (“It’s my life – mine! Hands off!”)

But do we – as followers of the God who was committed enough to give us His Son – do we model something different enough for anyone to notice?

Put bluntly – are we commitment-addicts?

We should be. Marriage is sealed by vows, and some still do take the plunge even in a commitment-phobic society. How much more ought followers of Jesus to embody costly commitment in the church of Jesus? Commitment to Him – and commitment to each other?

The Holy Spirit makes us one, unites us. Not many Christians would deny that this is meant to be the theory. But what is often missed is this: we have to follow through from this Holy-Spirit-oneness; we have to back up its reality through real commitments and kept promises and – let’s use the “v word” – vows.

“Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit” writes Paul. He’s made you one – keep it that way! How? “Through the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:3). The bond: the promise, the pledge, the vow.

We live total loyalty to each other. Covenant to stay together always. Lay down our lives for each other.

Hang it - we need to stand before a watching world and say "We're staying with each other - for good". We don't have to dress as a meringue and put leaves in our hair. But let's make it real. Afterall, marriage only lasts "till death us do part". But brothers and sisters in Christ - it's a forever and ever thing.

It’ll stand out – as Jesus said it would: “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

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