7 Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
The brass quartet, all various forms of the beautiful saxophone began to play Pachelbel's Canon in D. I turned to Andy and said, "This is the song usually played at weddings, I want to turn around to watch the bride enter. Where is the bride?" He chuckled, and I was caught by my own statement.
Where is the bride?
Easter Sunday, the day of celebrating the risen Lord, and I found myself asking, "Where is the bride?"
In every pew, in every chair, the bride sat. Some know of their position, some are well on their way to revelation, some have yet to understand. The bride awaits. Primping and ensuring Sunday's best, the bride awaits.
A risen King, a holy groom but, where is the bride?
Stumbling, serving, speaking, hearing, praying, sinning, the bride awaits. Hands outstretched, hands folded in, hands serving, hands retreating, the bride awaits. Imperfect, unholy, unredeemed, unjust, in need of her groom, the bride awaits.
I asked, out loud, in jest, "Where is the bride?"
God gently whispered, "My bride is here, out there, and everywhere. My bride is not yet ready for me to come. She is turning her head to see who is coming, distracted by events all around. Yet if only she would look straight down the aisle, she would find me.
At the cross, at the altar, at the end of her tears, at the end of her sorrows, her groom awaits. I want to see her run into my arms, into my embrace, not just now but for an eternity. I am her groom and I have loved her with an everlasting love, an unconditional love, and a sacrificial love.
I would give anything, and have given everything for her, my beloved, and she has forsaken me, mocked me, and murdered me. But I have risen, restored, and forgiven. I wait for her to run to me. I too am asking, Where is the bride?"
6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:6-8, New International Version, ©2011)
We are not simply his children, heirs to the eternal crown. No, we are called, we are beckoned as the bride of Christ. Although we have defiled and sullied what God meant for holiness, he can, no, he will restore us to reflect Heaven's glory as he makes our scarlet sins white as snow (Isaiah 1:18). He will come back to restore us, strong and steadfast (1 Peter 5:10), taking our hands into his and offering eternity as his bride.
1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children. 8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8, New International Version, ©2011)