Have you ever seen an ugly bride? And men dressed up as brides and bridezillas on reality TV don't count! Have you ever truly seen an ugly bride coming down the aisle?
Tell you what, if you have, don't tell me about it. But my bet is you've never seen a bride approaching her groom that you'd openly call ugly. Even the homeliest gal looks radiant as she walks down the aisle in her bridal finery on the arm of her proud father. And every groom lights up with anticipation and delight at the sight of the girl of his dreams inching down that flower laden aisle.
In fact, while I love to get a glimpse of the beautiful bride, I love even more watching the waiting groom's reaction to that first glimpse of his fair maiden. Even if he's already seen her in her gown of white during a pre-ceremony photography session, the groom usually looks as though he is seeing this woman of his choice for the very first time, stunned at her beauty and amazed that she is joining him at the front of the church for those solemn vows.
Have you considered lately that we, you and I, are the bride of Christ. I fear that because we often word it just that way -- bride of Christ -- that we lose some of the very real sentimentality that is inherent to that relationship.
We are Jesus' bride, the love of His life, the one He has chosen to spend eternity with, the darling of heaven and His sweetheart.
The ramifications of that position are huge for the church. We, collectively, are His love. He died for us, redeemed us at high price, and is waiting patiently for us to adorn ourselves in the lovely white robe of righteousness He has purchased for us. He has even provided all the accouterments necessary for a bride to suitably adorn herself for that special day: the cleansing bath (of His Word), the sweet perfume (of the Holy Spirit), and the wedding clothes of purity (even though we have no right to wear white, He has insisted we wear the color without shame or regret).
As a church--a bride so fair--are we keeping our focus on our Groom? Are we preparing ourselves for that important and delightful union? Are we anticipating it fully?
But what about as individual members of the church? Am I preparing myself to be the radiant bride of my more-than-deserving Groom? Is that union my focus? Or have I become, like a TV bridezilla, consumed and distracted with the frivolities of this world?
Perhaps today would be a good day to consider what kind of brides we are.
- Am I bathing daily in the cleansing water of His Word?
- Am I truly anticipating the reunion with my Groom, Jesus Christ?
- Am I allowing the sweet and endearing fragrance of the Holy Spirit to permeate my life?
- Am I keeping myself pure, unstained by the enticements of this world?
- And am I singing my Groom's praises to those around me, boasting in the One who awaits me and bragging on His love for me?
What strikes you most about the concept of Jesus being our patient and strong Groom and us being His much anticipated bride?