By Ruth Wood
(From the state of Oregon)
Weddings. What a tangle of emotions in the midst of stress, smiles, tears, and joy!
In the days after our youngest son got married, I couldn’t help but also think about the greatest wedding yet to come ~ when we, the bride of Christ, finally celebrate our union with Jesus. So here are some wedding vignettes and spiritual insights gained.
Wedding Vignette: As the big day approached, I was worried. About whom? Me!
I tend to be absent-minded. Add to that, senior moments here and there. Because we were also traveling afterward, the list of things to remember was longer than Santa’s list of presents to deliver on Christmas Eve. My brain raced in maxed-out mode. Would I somewhere, somehow forget my dress enroute? I could just see myself arriving, and oops . . . that beautiful midnight blue sequined garment? Nowhere to be found!
I have a nephew who used to travel with a singing group internationally and once left his tuxedo on the train. That night the group had him wear a white hotel towel for the performance with the rest of them in formal wear. He carried it off, providing great hilarity for the audience. But I didn’t want that to be me! Anyway, you can see that my type of forgetfulness is genetic and runs in the family. Needless to say, I remained highly vigilant while traveling!
Spiritual Insight: In a similar way, we do not want to arrive at the entrance of heaven without the proper wedding attire, Christ’s robe of righteousness. Our own raggedy clothes of good works simply would not be appropriate.
As we prepare to attend the greatest wedding of all time, we must be vigilant, like the virgins in the parable who had prepared well and brought enough oil for their lamps to make it through the night. (Matthew 25:1-13) We must keep focused and maintain our relationship with the Lord so that He won’t say to us upon arrival, “I don’t know you.”
Wedding Vignette: Because of the coronavirus surge, my son and his wife asked every guest to take a rapid antigen COVID-19 test the morning of the wedding and to forgo attendance if positive.
Spiritual Insight: It occurred to me that the Lord requires everyone to be “virus free” to attend His celebration too. Only those rinsed clean of the sin virus by the blood of Jesus will be welcomed.
Wedding Vignette: Preparing for weddings is known to be stressful, and the days and hours leading up to the ceremony were intense for me. As it came time for the Mother of the Groom to be led down the aisle, I tried to calm myself down without much success. Then the ceremony began and nothing else mattered but to enjoy the moment. The love and joy on my son’s face and the tears in his eyes made me forget everything else.
Spiritual Insight: What will it be like to attend the wedding feast of the Lamb? Will the trumpets blow, the angels sing, and a grand wedding processional lead us into the presence of our Beloved? Oh, to finally be face to face! To gaze into the eyes of the One who has loved us and known us all along! What will we feel? One thing is for sure, in those glorious moments, all of Earth’s stress will slip away forever.
Wedding Vignette: After the outdoor ceremony, we headed to the ballroom. I knew we were missing a lot of people. There were at least nine of our extended family members down with COVID and five others unable to come for other reasons. Several people from the bride’s family also could not attend.
Everything was ready. The lamps on the tables were lit and music played as the servers brought delicious smelling plates of bourbon flank steak and basil pesto salmon. The atmosphere was so lovely. As I perused the room, it saddened me to see empty tables.
I wondered, “With whom could we share the extra food?” Once I’d seen a story on the internet about a jilted bride who invited the homeless to enjoy the wedding feast with her. Suddenly I understood something about how God feels. About having everything prepared and just so badly wanting to share this joy with everyone. About sadness over those not present.
Spiritual Insight: The Lord has put great effort into preparing a celebration that will literally be out of this world. He has sent out the invitations. “Come, be here with me! Enjoy the wonder of all I have for you!” He does not want any empty places. His heart is reflected in the story Jesus told about a man giving a banquet, “Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full .”(Luke 14:23)
So, my friends…
The heavenly banquet table is set. The food is about to be served. Is your name card at one of the place settings?
This is one wedding you absolutely do not want to miss!