Monday, August 13, 2012

Thinking about Marriage, as Sanctified and Sacrament, on my Anniversary

I've always felt that Martin Luther got rid of too many sacraments; I'd add marriage back as a sacrament, if I was solely in charge of the Lutheran world.

A sacrament is more than a symbol.  A sacrament is a way we see a visible sign of God's invisible grace, a tangible object that points us to the ineffable.

Nothing else has helped me understand God's love for me the way my spouse's love for me has. I make mistakes, and he forgives me. He forgives me, even though he knows I will likely make the same mistakes again and again. I do the same for him. He sees me--the best me, the worst me--as I truly am, and he loves me. Largely, he loves me not because of my anything I might say or do to convince him, but because he knows me.

Understand is probably too strong a word. In some ways, we can never understand the scope of love, either the love we have for each other or the love God has for us.

And I know that there are so many ways that marriage can go wrong.  My church has 2 sacraments, Baptism and Eucharist.  Those do not have the potential for going wrong in the ways that marriages do.  So, maybe Martin Luther knew what he was doing.   Still, for those of us in loving relationships, it's worth thinking about how those relationships strengthen both us and our societies.  It's worth thinking about how we can do more to support people in long-term relationships.    How might we transform our marriages and long-term relationships if we viewed our partners as sacramental elements?

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