The Lord of the Rings
A Sermon by Roosevelt Wright, Jr. For the Tabernacle Baptist Church Monroe, La. April 15, 2007 SCRIPTURE: And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10:8-9
o you have a wedding ring? Do you want one? A great social ethic has developed in our society with respect to wedding rings. People who love each other to the point that they want to commit themselves to a lifelong relationship, wear wedding rings. One of the things that attracts women to wedding rings is the presence of one or more diamonds which dazzle and shine on their fingers. Some men have wedding bands made of gold, without the diamonds. Our fascination with rings grows is enormous. When we are in love we show them off. When we are in trouble, we pawn them. When our love turns sour, we never want to see them again. Today we wear rings on our finger to indicate our marriage status; but it wasn’t always that way. The wedding ring was part of a dowry and in the bible the first ring given for marriage was actually an earring. In Genesis 24:22 Abraham’s servant was sent to find a wife for Isaac his son. The Lord led him to Rebekah and the initial token offered for her hand in marriage was a large golden ring and two bracelets. The King James Version calls it an earring. The other versions simply call it a ring. Ring customs have changed over the years and vary from place to place. In Greece, a double ring ceremony presents a silver ring to the wife and gold ring to the husband. In ancient times the people of Pliny sent irons to the betrothed to indicate marriage intentions. Some rings were made of brass, others were made of copper. Some were circles worn on the hand but there were some that were shaped like keys. Some parts of Irish peasantry still believe that a marriage without a gold ring is not legal and that every real woman had a wedding by the time she was 13. The Amish and Quakers wear no rings because they have pagan origins. The Church of England requires a ring for its ceremonies, no matter what its material. In America brides and grooms wear rings of gold and silver on the fourth finger of the left hand because the ancients believed that there is a vein that runs from that finger directly to the heart which is the seat of love. The rings symbolize a union that is forever. There are times when some forget VOL 17-3986
what forever means. Consider the man who dreamed that he died and went to heaven with his two best friends. It was a beautiful place, but all three men made it there before their wives. The dreamer was met by a tall angel with a clipboard who was making transportation assignments. Since each new arrival was a sinner saved by grace, everyone in heaven received rewards based on their works in life. Transportation, in the dream was given based on one’s faithfulness to his spouse. “Were you faithful to your wife?” The dreamer was asked. “Yes. I never cheated on her. See I’m still wearing my ring.” As a reward for his faithfulness he was given a Rolls Royce. The angel met his two friends and asked the same question. The first friend said, “I cheated once. It caused us a great problem, but we worked it out. I’m still wearing my ring!” The angel smiled and said, “You can drive that SUV over there!” The second friend confessed that he had really been a bad boy. He chased every woman in town; but the last one was a preacher who made him repent; that’s how he made it in. The angel frowned at a man who cheated on his wife so much, but since he was saved by grace he was given a small Volkswagen bug to use with no gas card. Considering their pasts, all three men felt good about themselves. One day the dreamer parked his Rolls Royce against a cloud and cried like a baby. His friends asked why he was so sad. “I saw my wife today?” His friends were happy. She made it in, too. “Was she...