In the providence of God, every thread ties together. All things cohere in Christ, as we are told in Colossians 1, and it is not just the large and important things that cohere. The Lord taught us that the hairs on our heads are all numbered, and that not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father (Luke 12:6-7). He really does hold the whole world in the palm of His hand.
But He does not just hold everything up as a way of supporting it—like Atlas holding up the world, but only in a general way. No, He also holds everything in His hands as He creates it, as He fashions it, as He repairs it, and as He brings it all to its final glorious consummation.
God is infinite, and He operates on the macro level and micro level both. He scatters galaxies by the fistful, and He calls all the electrons by name as He watches them in their courses. We are sometimes staggered by the ascending infinities above our heads, and wonder, with the psalmist, “what is man that you are mindful of him?” But a moment’s reflection shows that God is also paying meticulous attention to a host of nano-particles beneath our feet, and suddenly it does not seem unreasonable that God could send His Son to bring salvation to us. The barrier was in our rebellion and sinfulness, not our size. God deals with all sizes.
God initially inscribed His image on our first parents, and their size was a design feature, and no fault. God does exquisite work as a miniaturist, and it is no sin to be small. But it is a sin to be small and impudent, or small and haughty, or small and arrogant. The coming of Christ was in order that our follies might be crucified in the death of Christ, and so that the image of God might be restored in us.
Now God has undertaken that restoration process in every Christian marriage that is sanctified and set apart for Him. And this means that He is present, fully present, in every Christian household.
We are here today in order to witness the formation of yet one more Christian household, and with the invocation that was offered up today, we invited God to witness these vows, and to seal them in His grace.
I mention all of this because it is important to emphasize that a Christian marriage is one that has God’s attention. God is here, He notices, He witnesses. And when God notices this couple coming together, it must be said that His knowledge is not a partial knowledge, and He is not in any way distracted by other things. When God is present, He is entirely present. When God sees, all of Him sees.
The covenant being made here today is therefore a covenant between three, not two. God is here, and Blake is here, and Naomi is here. And just as Blake is fully invested, and as Naomi is fully invested, so also is God fully invested.
There are many other Christian marriages in the world, and the same thing is true of them. We need to correct our thinking when it comes to our understanding of the omni-characteristics of God. His omnipresence is not spread over the cosmos like pie dough, where the farther it is spread, the thinner it gets. No. His omniscience is not divided up among all His worshipers, such that each one of us has a relationship with a fraction of God. No. The one who overcomes will be given a white stone, and on that stone a new name is written, which no one understands except the one receiving it (Rev. 2:17). This household today is receiving that white stone, and the value of it is worth more than many worlds.
Wherever Christ is, He is entirely there. And because Christ is here, the entire gospel is here. This is a Christian wedding, and there are no small Christian marriages. They don’t exist.
This family here, forming today in front of us, is therefore unique. The value of what is happening here is incalculable. But we must remember that we are Christians, and where we think this value came from is important. We believe that our first parents sinned against God, and we fell from His favor. This means the value that we affirm here today is a gospel value. That means that Christ did not die for us because we were so valuable, but rather that we are valuable because He died for us. He did not love us because we were so lovely, but rather we have been made lovely because He has loved us.
God created the first man and the first woman as an act of unmerited favor. It is all of grace. In every Christian marriage, He is recreating a man and woman in Christ, a new man and a new woman, as an act of demerited favor. It is all of mercy. And so what you see here today, standing before you, is the promise and glory and hope of the gospel. The good news embodied in the Lord Jesus Christ is a message that refashions the entire world, and makes all things new.
Blake, you are assigned to this task. You are called to it. This household is a household established by God, and you are appointed to be the head of it. This relationship is an embodiment of the gospel, and you are the steward of that embodiment. This means, among other things, that you are to be bold, humble, strong, gentle, careful, kind, generous, loyal, deliberate, confessional, wise, confident, hard, and loving. As the head, you are responsible not only to be this way yourself, which would be challenge enough, but you are to establish these characteristics as the tone of your home. You are to be the thermostat in your home, not a thermometer. You are to set the temperature, not record it.
Naomi, Blake is called to a challenging task, but your task is actually harder. Your task is to make him look good while he undertakes it. He is the head, as I have mentioned, but you are the crown. As the head, he has the office. As the crown, you register the office, and you adorn it. This means, not surprisingly, that you are to be bold, humble, strong, gentle, careful, kind, and all the rest of that same list. But you are to do it in a distinctively feminine way, in a way that glorifies and explains the obedience of faith that is characteristic of the church’s response to Christ.
And because God is here, and is witnessing these vows, He will be with you throughout all of it. And that is why all of us here can wish you Godspeed.
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, amen.