Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Bride of Christ

In honor of my friend Jennifer Hsin preparing for her December 15th wedding, I post the following. These were my thoughts a few months before my own wedding. This, aside from the day of my salvation, was the happiest day of my life. I hope you are blessed.

The Bride of Christ

“and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” - Isaiah 62:5 (ESV)

For weeks I’ve been putting off altering my wedding dress. It seemed like a daunting task and one I was not yet ready to take. Why didn’t I get it done professionally? Because I have better things to do with my money and I was pretty sure I could do it myself anyway. Little did I know what a joyous time I would have…

As I placed each stitch in its necessary place, I began to pray. I prayed that I would put one-thousand times the effort and more into the marriage itself than the wedding. I prayed that my family would seek and serve God in every way possible. I prayed for the kids I hope to have. Then my mind started leaning towards even greater thoughts…

Revelation 19:6-8 says: “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure.” (my italics)

I started thinking about the bright white color of my dress. How pure…how unstained…how perfect. Then I thought of how undeserving I am to wear such a dress. Apart from God, I can do no good. I’m undeserving of every good thing I’ve ever been given. I’ve trampled over top of the beauty of such purity with muddy feet.

“…though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;” - Isaiah
1:18 (ESV)

How very blessed I am! God is good and He chose to make me white as snow. While I was stitching my dress, I managed to prick my finger a few times. Twice it drew blood. I suddenly remembered that it was because of the blood of Christ that I was white in the first place!!! Jesus Christ died on the cross, rising again on the third day to save someone like me! How do I thank him?

“Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number” - Jer 2:32 (ESV, my italics)

All to often, it’s as if I’ve forgotten Him. Sometimes I may look like I have everything together and people will call me a “really religious person.” Yet in my heart, I struggle to love like I should. I’m ungrateful. I’m disobedient to the Lord. I shy away from proclaiming Christ as I should. It’s as if I’ve forgotten Him.

The New Testament refers to Christians as the bride of Christ. In John 3:29, John the Baptist calls Jesus the Bridegroom: “The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete.”

As I prepare for my wedding in September, I think about how I’ll prepare myself the day of. I’m sure it’ll be something like this. I’ll begin with a shower, then makeup and hair. We’ll go to the church and get dressed. I’ll put on that beautiful, white gown and veil. People will help me look as beautiful as is possible - after all, it’s a special day! After all the preliminaries, the wedding will begin. James will be waiting for me at the end of the aisle. I am convinced he’ll be smiling and joyful when he sees me walking toward him. Have I prepared myself in such a way for my ultimate Groom, Jesus Christ? Oh how I pray I’ll learn how!

“…and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.” - Isaiah 62:5 (ESV)

As blessed as I’ll be to have James as my husband, in the end, only one marriage will matter. Help me to be the best bride I can be…

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” - Rev 21:1-4 (ESV, my italics)

I’m not completely finished with my dress alterations but the most troublesome parts are complete. I hope to finish the other small adjustments tomorrow. Isn’t that how our lives with Christ is? He’s not finished with me yet, but the most troublesome part is complete - my salvation. I praise God for His great love!

By Terra (Rogers) Santos
July 24, 2006

No comments: