It is an American rite of passage, the ultimate moment when dreams come true. No expense or effort is spared to make the wedding the perfect moment. Family and friends travel hundreds of miles just to be there. Parents go into debt to provide the perfect cake, the sit down dinner, a gala reception, not to mention the bride’s dress and decorations.
We have added our twists to the wedding traditions. While many weddings are still held in cathedrals, churches and chapels, they have moved beyond church walls in search of exotic places to “tie the knot:” on mountain tops, at home plate, on beaches and boats.. Wedding music is no longer limited to the bridal march. We have opted for country western, hip-hop and pop. We have added unity candles and unity sand. But one element remains unchanged in every wedding ceremony: the high point of the event is the entrance of the bride! Everything leads up to the bride’s entrance beaming beneath a white veil, adorned in an elaborate dress that enhances her beauty.
I like weddings held outside. In the one I attended last weekend, the flower girl entered the gazebo under a bright blue sky scattering her petals on the bride’s path. She stopped at the entrance, tugged on a rope to ring an overhead bell then shouted with excitement, "She's coming! She's coming!” The crowd giggled and smiled as they always do when children perform, then they turned their heads searching for their first glimpse of the bride.
It reminded me of Jesus’ love for weddings. He performed his first miracle at Cana in Galilee, turning water into wine so that the wedding moment would not be spoiled. It also reminded me of the wedding scene predicted in the Bible. The Scripture is clear. One day Jesus will return like a bridegroom prepared to receive his bride. Jesus said, “I will come again.” (John 14:3). He urged us to be perseverant and patient, waiting for the bridegroom’s arrival. (Matthew 25:1-13).
If Jesus is the bridegroom, who is the bride? According to the Bible, we are. Scripture teaches that everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ and follows him helps form the bride of Christ. We are the bride of Christ as members of his church. Paul wrote, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27) We are the bride of Christ as citizens of the Holy City built by God in Heaven. (Revelation 21). Like a bride who prepares for her wedding, we need to prepare ourselves for his coming.
I can hear the flower girl’s voice ringing in my ear: “He’s coming! He’s coming!” “The Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.” (Revelation 22:17).