|1 Timothy 4:8|
From The Book of Common Prayer, 1662
The Pastor: Into this holy union (the Man) and (the Woman) now come to be joined. If any of you can show just cause why they may not lawfully be married, speak now; or else for ever hold your peace.
The Pastor: I require and charge you both, here in the presence of God, that if either of you know any reason why you may not be united in marriage lawfully, and in accordance with God's Word, you do now confess it.
The Pastor: (The Woman) will you have this man to be your husband; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?
The Woman answers, "I will."
The Pastor: (The Man) will you have this woman to be your wife; to live together in the covenant of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?
The Man answers, "I will."
The Pastor: Will all of you witnessing these promises do all in your power to uphold these two persons in their marriage?
The People answer, "We Will."
The Pastor: The Lord be with you.
The People respond, "And also with you."
The Pastor: Let us pray.
The Pastor: O gracious and everliving God, you have created us male and female in your image: Look mercifully upon this man and this woman who come to you seeking your blessing, and assist them with your grace, that with true fidelity and steadfast love they may honor and keep the promises and vows they make; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The man, facing the woman and taking her right hand in his, says, "In the Name of God, I, (the Man), take you, (the Woman), to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
Then they loose their hands, and the Woman, still facing the man, takes his right hand in hers, and says, "In the Name of God, I, N., take you, N., to be my husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow."
They loose their hands.
The Pastor: Bless, O Lord, this ring to be a sign of the vows by which this man and this woman have bound themselves to each other; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The giver places the ring on the ring-finger of the other's hand and says, "(The Man and then the Woman), I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
The Pastor: Now that (The Man) and (The Woman) have given themselves to each other by solemn vows, with the joining of hands and the giving and receiving of a ring, I pronounce that they are husband and wife, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
The Pastor: Those whom God has joined together let no one put asunder.
All the People say, "Amen."
This post will also be Episode 41 of my Podcast.
For the third part of this series, I am going to break from my This NOT That pattern. I contemplated a couple of titles for this post that might work, but in the end, I didn't really want to focus on what we don't do... but more on what we do do. In this particular case: Expository Preaching.
(This post will also serve as Episode 40 of my Podcast.)
This is the second in a potential series of posts where I would like to introduce newcomers (and others) to Edgewood. In the first post of this series, I started by stating that, "At Edgewood Church, in Danville, IL, we are about the person... NOT the program." (You can read that post by clicking here.)
In this new post I would like to very briefly tackle the topic of church attendance and maybe even touch on the concept of church membership. I will attempt to do this in two simple points.
(This post will also serve as episode 39 of my podcast.)
This is the first in a potential series of posts where I would like to introduce newcomers (and others) to Edgewood.
At Edgewood Church, in Danville, IL, we are about the person... NOT the program. What do I mean by this statement? Well, I'd like to answer that with Five Thoughts.
(This post will also serve as episode 38 of my podcast.)
In the Gospel According to Matthew, right after a section of recorded parables, we read this:
 “Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.”  And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.”
Matthew 13:51–52 (ESV)
I have no idea what this means.
I love it. It is wonderful and marvelous and mysterious. Important truths have been opened to me in the reading of this short little parable. But I don't really know what he is talking about.
I do know that I genuinely want to be a scribe who has been trained for the Kingdom of Heaven.
Filling up the Afflictions of Christ is book number five in the series of books by John Piper called, The Swans are not Silent. I think, but I'm not sure, that each of these books... and even each of the three short biographies in each book... sprang from a conference message or a church message that John Piper originally delivered. I believe most of these have sermons that you can find online at DesiringGod.Org.
In this book we can read about William Tyndale, Adoniram Judson, and John Paton. The unifying thread with these three men is, as the book subtitle states: "The Cost of Bringing the Gospel to the Nations..." in each of their lives.
The title of this book comes from Colossians 1:24 --
Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church.
Piper goes on to explain this passage by saying,
"What is lacking in the afflictions of Christ is not that they are deficient in worth, as though they could not sufficiently cover the sins of all who believe. What is lacking is that the infinite value of Christ's afflictions is not known and trusted in the world. These afflictions and what they mean are still hidden to most peoples. And God's intention is that the mystery be revealed to all the nations. So the afflictions of Christ are 'lacking' in the sense that they are not seen and known and loved among the nations. They must be carried by the missionaries. And those missionaries 'complete' what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ by extending them to others."
All three of these short biographies are impactful in their own right, but I found the elements of Adoniram Judson's life to be the weightiest in my own heart and mind. The enduring hardships, the regular encounters with death, and the deep distresses of dark emotions all left me with a lasting respect for what was accomplished through God's sovereign grace in his life and an odd desire to follow, in what ways I could, in his footsteps.
The reading of Christian biographies and autobiographies is important for many reasons; including reminding us of our rich heritage, prompting us toward deeper and more lasting affections, and inspiring us to keep our eyes on things that are eternal and lasting. The benefit of this series of books is found in the brevity of the stories, the emphasis on their lasting impact, and the unpacking of how Biblical doctrine that is both wide and deep will serve as the spiritual food and strength for Spirit-filled people.
It is a snow day today... And I just completed a book!
The book is Contending for Our All, by John Piper. This is the 4th book in his series: The Swans are not Silent.
This is the first book I have read in this series. In this book, John Piper writes about three men who contended for the Faith: Athanasius, John Owen, and J. Gresham Machen. He isn't attempting to give a complete biography of any of these individuals, but instead is seeking to highlight one aspect of their lives. In the case of these three: it is the controversies that surrounded them, and the heart for the beauty of God in the face of Jesus Christ that supported and motivated each of these men through these controversies.
With each one of the biographical summaries that Piper shares, I found myself to not only be intrigued by these men... wanting to read more of each of their lives and to read more of their writing, but also spurred on toward a more persistent delving into the mysteries of God myself.
I would encourage you to read this book, especially if you know nothing about the lives of these three men. This book will give you a taste of our rich historical lineage in the truths of Genuine Christianity.