I did my first wedding a few weeks ago. My cousin married a fine young man she met in St. Louis while attending Gateway College of Evangelism and they asked if I would officiate at their wedding. It was a wonderful day.
I shared the task of the wedding with the grooms grandfather, also a minister.
We spoke after the wedding of a unique event that occurs during a traditional ceremony.
The moment the entire congregation and the wedding party awaits is the opening of the doors for the entrance of the bride. Everyone stands, turns and watches the beautiful bride make her way through the sanctuary.
The ushers watch the bride. The groom’s side of the church watches the bride. The bride’s side of the church watches the bride. The wedding party watches the bride. The ministers watch the bride. The groom watches the bride. Quite simply everyone in attendance watches the bride.
Except for the bride. The bride watches only one person; the groom.
What a thought.
Especially when you consider that the scriptures liken the Church unto the bride of Christ (http://bible.cc/2_corinthians/11-2.htm ).
This world is watching the bride. How important that the church care for itself and its appearance and make our “calling and election sure” to be the bride the world is waiting, yea needs, to see.
Furthermore, The Groom is watching the bride. If no one else I want to be prepared to see the groom. I want make myself ready for the groom I love and the groom that will be watching me walk through the sanctuary. I want to be without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but … holy and without blemish”. A loving bride simply wants to be ready to meet her groom
The bride, however, who has made herself ready, will be watching no one but the groom. Maybe that’s what Paul was talking about when he encouraged us to be “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”. Why? Because it is “unto them that look for him will he appear the second time without sin unto salvation”.
It is very difficult, with all the possibilities that surround us, to keep our eyes focused only on Jesus Christ. We’ve got tv, radio, the internet, shopping centers, movies, iPod’s and more to entertain us and keep our minds on everything but Him “with whom we have to do”.
I remember the day I married my beautiful wife. She was a gorgeous sight. Every eye in that church was on her. It thrilled me that when she walked through the rear of the sanctuary, as beautiful as she was, she was watching me.
I wonder if that’s how the Lord feels when His people are watching and worshipping Him? I wonder if that's how He feels when we enter His sanctuary with our focus and hearts on Him and Him alone.
It makes me understand and echo the words of John on the Isle of Patmos when he said, “the Spirit and the bride say, Come!” (http://bible.cc/revelation/22-17.htm ).