Denny’s introduction was prophetic:
We all found out last month what the President of the United States thinks about marriage. He sat down for an interview with ABC News and announced to the world [in his own words],
“I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married…”
He went on,
“[Michelle and I] are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated…”
My reaction to what the President said probably wasn’t that different from yours. I thought that what he said was outrageous. I thought that citing Jesus as if He were in support of sexual immorality was blasphemous. But I also thought, there’s really nothing new here.
The president is a sign of our times not the cause of our times. If you think that the President has caused the massive revolution in our culture on marriage, you are just wrong. The changes have accelerated in the last few years, but the seeds were sown many decades before.
Our culture long ago embraced…
-The sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s …
-The idolatry of sex and the diminishing of marriage…
-The ubiquity of the birth control pill and the severing of human sexuality from its connection to children and family.
-No-fault divorce and the idea that we can change spouses like we change sox.
-That there’s no difference between men and women, gender is just a social construct that we learn from culture, not something given to us by God at creation.
-And closely related to this, the idea that gender shouldn’t matter when it comes to human sexuality. And so we have a whole generation of young people who see nothing at all wrong with homosexuality.
No, our culture’s devolution didn’t begin last month with an announcement from the President. This slide has been a long time coming.
Denny’s exposition of Ephesians 5:21–33 that followed this introduction was powerful and piercing, and funny too–you’ll probably hear me belly laughing when you listen to this.
And Denny’s conclusion was poetic. He had me and many others in tears with these words:
I wrote a poem for Susan on our third anniversary that was a bit of a vision of how I was hoping and praying we might end up. It’s a story that ends with a short prayer.
The old man took her tired hand
to hold for one last time.
The years had fin’lly pressed her to
her final breaths of life.
Their wrinkled hands in warm embrace
brought back the long-gone years,
The memories of their happy times,
and those dissolved in tears.
The old man saw in her ill frame
the girl that stole his heart.
He saw in her that gracious gaze
that filled their home with warmth.
His mind turned back to lighter days
when she did make her mark,
The children her love reared for them,
Her single heart for God.
He also felt the weight of grace
that marked her many years,
How she had borne him patiently
when he did cause the tears.
The old man said, “My love, the time
was cruelly short to me.
I cannot say goodbye to you
and let your passing be.”
“How can I ever say farewell
or ever let you part?
You are my only precious thing,
the joy of my old heart.”
And as his eyes began to well,
she reached to touch his face.
And then her quivering voice began
to give one final grace.
“This is the day the Lord has made,
The one He’s brought to pass.
This day was written in His book
before my first was past.”
“The Lord has granted us to spend
together all these years.
He’s also granted all the joy
and even all our tears.”
“And though this is a bitter day,
we owe Him so much thanks.
Dear, we made it! By Him we did!
Yes, we made it! By grace!”
Oh Father, grant that we may see
our days as at their end.
Oh let us know the weight of grace
in every year we spend.
We make this prayer unto You,
for there is no one higher.
This testimony of Your grace
we desperately desire!
This sermon is not to be missed. Listen here: Denny Burk, Ephesians 5:21–33, Husbands, Wives, and the Glory of God