Tuesday, October 12, 2010

“The Bride”

Last week my youngest daughter got married.  She was very beautiful, and was beaming with joy as she finally reached the long awaited and anticipated day when she would be joined to the one she loved and adored.  The one she longed to share her days, dreams, and even her very soul with. 

The specialness of that day didn’t just happen.  Months of preparation and planning had gone into what would culminate on this day.  Hours and hours of mental and physical labor were exerted.  Much expense was accrued for decorations, flowers, food, and cakes. 
And the bride herself; Oh the preparations that were made to make sure that she looked perfect for her betrothed.   

First comes the choosing of the perfect dress!  It must be pure white with bead work down the front, and a flowing train. Once the perfect dress is found, it must be carefully altered to fit perfectly, accentuating ones positive features and covering any flaws.  Then there is the vale and the jewelry, again chosen very carefully and purposefully. Dainty bling on the edges of the vale and the gems in the jewelry designed to sparkle in the light with every movement the bride makes. Then there are shoes, and bras, and slips, all chosen to make the bride look her best.  Then as the wedding day draws near, the bride's attention is turned to make sure her skin is soft and clear, and that her hair is cut and dyed just right, and that the perfect perfume is chosen that will linger in the heart and mind of her lover for years to come. When the morning of the wedding finally arrives, there are fingernails to be carefully painted, makeup to be meticulously applied, and hair to be styled to perfection.   After hours of painstaking care and months of preparation, the bride is ready, the marriage supper is all prepared, just an hour more to wait and her dream will finally be a reality.

Why does the bride go to all this trouble, all this effort, all this expense?   Because when the final hour arrives, as she picks up her bouquet and gazes at herself in the mirror before ascending down the aisle, her greatest hope at that moment is to look perfect for the one she loves.  When her bridegroom looks up and sees her standing in the doorway, her ultimate desire is that his breath is taken away by her beauty, and that his heart is melted by her love.  She wants to “be” perfect for the one who has captivated her heart and her life.    

Having been so personally involved in this whole wedding process, I couldn’t help but think about how the Bible refers to the followers of Jesus as the “Bride of Christ.”  God’s desire is that He could present a breathtakingly beautiful and perfect bride to His son, Jesus.  Ephesians 5:27 Amp states, “That He might present the Church to Himself in glorious splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].”  The question for us today is; are we preparing ourselves as a spotless and wrinkle free bride?  Are we clothed in righteousness, pure and white, having been washed in the blood and grace of Jesus?  Have we “adorned” ourselves with the fruit of the Spirit? (Gal 5:22-23)  Have we “altered” our lifestyle to fit perfectly with the masters will?  Are we drenched in an “aroma” of praise and worship that not only saturates the heavens but spills over into the nostrils of the people around us?   Have we taken the necessary steps to make sure our hearts are “soft” and our conscience “clear?” Is our ultimate desire to look and be perfect in His eyes?  Are we anxiously awaiting our bridegrooms return, desiring to please Him and spend our life with Him? 

Maybe we have been distracted and are so enjoying our single life that we aren’t preparing ourselves for Him?  In Matthew 25 Jesus tells a parable about 10 virgins.  Five of the virgins prepared themselves for the bridegroom, and five didn’t.  When the bridegroom finally arrived, the five unprepared foolish virgins got locked out of the wedding, and began pounding on the door and crying to be let in.  The answer they received was chilling.  “Verily, I say unto you, I know you not.”  If we don’t love the bridegroom enough to prepare ourselves for Him, maybe we don’t really love him at all!  Just as an earthly bride painstakingly makes herself ready for her groom, we too should anxiously and diligently be making ourselves ready for Christ’s return.  Let us strive to be perfect for the one who has so captivated our hearts and our lives, that when he sees us on the day of His return, our beauty and love will take His breath away!

“Be diligent that ye may be found of Him in peace, without spot and blameless.”  (2 Peter 3:15) 

“Let us rejoice and be glad and give glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and his bride made herself ready.  It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.”  (Rev. 19:7-8)

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