Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Church as Christ's Bride

We Will Dance

Sing a song of celebration
Lift up a shout of praise
For the Bridegroom will come
The glorious one
And oh, we will look on his face
We’ll go to a much better place

Dance with all your might
Lift up your hands and clap for joy
The time’s drawing near
When he will appear
And oh, we will stand by his side
A strong, pure, spotless bride

(Refrain)We will dance on the streets that are golden

The glorious bride and the great Son of man
From every tongue and tribe and nation
Will join in the song of the lamb

We sang this song in church this Sunday. It’s never really struck me before like it did this time, but it just clicked with me. Jesus is our Groom, our husband-to-be. “We” the church – all believers in Him – are His Bride. Hmm. Think about that for a minute. All kinds of people have lots of different views on what marriage should be, but Scripture has laid it out pretty plainly what the husband and wife’s roles are: distinctly different, but both necessary.

Anyway, singing this song made me think of my wedding day. I was so excited. Especially after the opening songs, and all the attendants were already up front, and they had just closed the doors to the sanctuary of the church so I could make my entrance with my father. I was so excited I was jumping up and down. In my Wedding Dress! And, after all the many many hours of preparation to be ready for that day, why shouldn’t I be excited?

We were engaged in October, 2004, and married July 23, 2005, and that whole time frame was filled with much tender thought and preparation for this big day. The church, the flowers, the cake, the caterer, the invitations, the guest list, the dress! So many details needed to be attended to. This doesn’t even count the preparation of myself the day of: getting my hair and makeup done, manicured and pedicured, putting on that big wedding dress that required undergarments I don’t even know the names of! All this in addition to every day life: as a Purdue student, as a part-time employee at a bagel shop, as a woman engaged to the man who was building our home. This was an extra job! It was a lot of work to make sure everything was just right!

And so, remembering the ecstatic feeling I had as I was preparing to walk down the aisle that day after all the months of hard work and preparations and loving thoughts of how wonderful it would be to be married to my soon-to-be husband, I felt a little bit ashamed singing that song in church on Sunday. I mean, I’m excited to be Christ’s bride….but certainly not jumping up and down with a silly grin on my face excited. And as for preparations: essentially nonexistent! I mean, sure, I go to church on Sundays, and pray, and try to read the Bible somewhat frequently…..but this is not the all-consuming, using every-spare-minute preparation that I demonstrated in preparing for my Wedding day in July 2005.

With that, I hope to be able to change my focus, and bring it more towards Jesus and the things He is doing in my life and the lives of others. I want to actively pursue serving Him more, to prepare for that day when the Bridegroom comes. So many people don’t yet know Jesus, and that day will not be a happy day for them – how can I sit complacently and ignore that fact? It is so important to share, and it’s just too easy to forget that. So, my prayer today is that God would give His Bride, the Church (including me!) an increased desire to be faithful to Him and His lifesaving work, and to demonstrate that increased desire by behaving as a dearly cherished Bride. Thank you, God, for always being faithful to us, even when we are not faithful to you by letting other things get in the way.