The Rev. William Klock: Two more sermons on Genesis
From the Rev. William Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia, here are two more sermons on his new series on Genesis:
The first of these sermons is noteworthy for what Fr. Bill says about marriage:
Adam and Eve are the archetype for godly marriage. Not only does the story show us the roles of men and women within marriage and family, it reminds us that marriage itself is divinely instituted by God. It was God who declared that it was not good for the man to be alone, it was God who created the woman, and it was God who brought the woman to the man. It’s through marriage that a man and a woman are united as “one flesh”. This is the core of what defines the family. Children should be the natural result, but the family itself exists in this bond, this “one flesh”, whether children come or not. Verse 24 also shows the husband making his wife his focus. As much as the wife leaves her family too, God here places the emphasis on the man leaving his parents, joining with his new wife, making her his focus, and the two of them creating a new family.
Brothers and sisters, let me conclude by saying that marriage points us back to God. He didn’t institute marriage arbitrarily. He designed marriage to point us back to himself and to show us his love for us. A marriage is a covenant and the history of redemption is all about God establishing a covenant with his people—establishing a covenant with us because he loves us and wants to restore us to himself. If you read through the Old Testament, especially the prophets, you’ll see God drawing on the imagery of marriage to describe his relationship with his people. The book of Hosea does this especially as God used the broken marriage of Hosea and his prostitute wife to illustrate his own covenant with Israel. In the end God promises that one day he will restore the relationship. No longer will God’s people—no longer will we—prostitute ourselves to false gods, no longer will we turn our backs on God’s faithful provision, no longer will we reject his headship and authority, but on that day our hearts will be made anew and God will bring us, his people, back into loving relationship with him. Dear friends, that’s what Jesus did as he stretched out his arms on the Cross.
This is why much of the Church has historically seen marriage as sacramental. A sacrament is a visible sign and seal of an inward and spiritual grace. Not only is the marriage ceremony an outward and visible sign of the new relationship between husband and wife, but marriage itself is a sacramental sign that points to the lovingkindness of God and his commitment to us, to his people. The Church—the people of God, his covenant community—is the bride of Christ. God intended for our earthly marriages to teach us how to share love and grace with one another and how to submit to Christ, our head. Verse 25 notes that in that first marriage, the man and the woman were both naked and unashamed. Their nakedness is an image of openness and trust in marriage and it is this openness and trust in marriage that illustrates for us the openness and trust we ought to share with God—openness and trust broken because of our sin.
As we come to the Table this morning, know that here God offers us himself. Jesus loved his Bride, his Church, so much that he was willing to die as a sacrifice for her sins. He saw our need and he met it perfectly. When human beings sinned, we were cast from the temple and the way to the Tree of Life was barred to us. But, brothers and sisters, through Jesus Christ the way is open again. Here he gives us a foretaste of that great marriage banquet that awaits us in heaven on that day when our salvation is consummated and Christ brings us back to the temple, back to the garden. Here he gives us a foretaste of the Tree of Life. He is the one who perfectly knows what we need and he is the one who will perfectly provide. In response, let us submit to him in loving obedience, faithfully trusting in his promise.