Last weekend we were at a wedding of a good friend from Uni. I love weddings. I love watching the groom doing the nervous walk, smiling at people as they come into the church. I love the waiting, and you can see on the face of the groom the longing as the clock ticks time on. It could almost make him crazy.
I love how when the music starts to play everyone turns to look at the bride. She walks in and everyone gasps at her beauty, her dress, her hair and her smile. Eyes are on the bride. She is radiant.
All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold.
In many-colored robes she is led to the king,
with her virgin companions following behind her.
With joy and gladness they are led along
as they enter the palace of the king.
(Psalm 45:13-15 ESV)
The bride is led to her groom and a union begins. He promises to care, cherish and die for her. She promises to receive his tender love and be taken under his wings for refuge.
Joy and gladness are filled in this place.
It’s a beautiful thing to see two people in love. Its even more beautiful to see how Christ loves his bride, to see how the church takes refuge in Him. As I was reading the book of Revelation, I was soon swept up in the wedding of Christ and the church – the heat of love burns here and the church is covered by the blood of the lamb and she is beautiful. All eyes are on her as she enters the palace of the king, bringing delight to friends and confounding enemies.
Jesus loves the Church. But we aren’t at the wedding yet. The church isn’t quite finished yet. We look forward to the wedding day, but the bride is still being prepared, she is still getting ready. At the moment the church looks messy, it looks broken, and it looks hurt. And so we wait with longing and groaning. We wait with patience and gentleness. We wait for the day when we will take refuge in Jesus, when we see his face, when he wipes away the tears. And Christ waits in eager expectation.
Perhaps one of the songs we shall sing is:
Sands of Time are sinking – by Anne Cousin:
4. The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory
But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth
But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.
5. O I am my Beloved’s
And my Beloved is mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner
Into His house of wine
I stand upon His merit –
I know no other stand,
Not e’en where glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.