You’ve heard the expression, “Not all who wander are lost.” In light of the travel theme in this wedding I thought it would be appropriate to unpack that saying a bit. The reality is that many wander about because they are lost. But others wander because they want to experience new things. They are driven to get out there and see the world.
Now, that was not as big of a deal when I was growing up. The generations behind us have figured out that there is real value in seeing and experiencing more of the world. And that’s great.
But I want to suggest that there is a third reason why some wander.
The first is because they are LOST.
The second is because they want to EXPERIENCE the wonders of this great world.
And the third is because -- they're on a MISSION.
Christians are especially tuned into this dimension. Jesus sent his followers out to spread his good news.
We read in John 20:21 that after Jesus was raised from the dead he appeared to his disciples and said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”
But we're not just talking about some class of spiritually elite individuals. We're all called to represent Christ, his message, his love…
And I'd suggest that it's not just individuals but also couples.
In the NT book of Colossians, the apostle Paul spells out some instructions on healthy marriage in Colossians 3:18-19 -- which I am not going to read. You can check that out on your own. But I would like to focus on the preamble to those comments in Colossians 3:17 --
And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.Or I might paraphrase it for this context --
Whatever it is that you do or say -- wherever you travel -- whoever it is that pays your salary -- your underlying mission is to represent the Lord Jesus -- and do remember to thank God with each step you take along the way.Yes, a wedding ceremony is a celebration of your love and commitment to each other. But it is also a commissioning service to send you out together as a new team on a journey to represent Christ Jesus -- his good news -- his kingdom agenda -- and his way of life.
When we lived in Turlock we had a man in our church whom I'd have do premarital counseling for me. He was much better at that kind of thing than I am. And he'd meet with the couples before I'd officiate at the ceremony.
Kent, you remember Lloyd Ahlem. Lloyd was a retired psychologist and college president. And one thing he'd always ask couples to do is to write out their corporate mission statement. Lloyd was a genius and that one assignment quickly got couples talking about the point of marriage.
What is your mission statement? What is your corporate purpose? Why are you going on this journey? Why are you wandering?
Is it because you're lost and you need a spouse to help you find your way? Is it because you're looking forward to experiencing the world with a kindred spirit? (And Kent and Sam seem to be very kindred spirits. I think it was Stephen Kim who first figured that out and hooked them up. Thank you!) Maybe it's a combination of both those reasons.
And really when you think about it, wandering because you're lost or wandering because you desire to experience things together aren't such bad reasons. But remember your prime directive as individuals and a married couple -- to represent Christ as you wander on your journey. If you make that the first priority the other aspects of the marriage journey will fall into place.
And believe it or not, that is the good news.