"I do."

"You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace." (Song of Soloman 4:9)

Jesus chose to describe Himself as a bridegroom, the Church as His bride. That thought has always captivated me. I've only been to a ridiculously few weddings in my life, so I'm no expert. But my heart goes crazy picturing our wedding with Christ. See, there's a few things about that image that I love.
My friend April told me that the most important thing I should to do at any wedding is to take special note of the groom. You know? He stands there with fresh rose pinned on his suit just right, nervous as all get-out, rocking back and forth heel-to-toe, looking down at the ground, smiling while grinding his teeth. He remembers life behind him, and he thinks of the life ahead of him. He is eaten away with thoughts...  And then she comes. Everyone turns around to see the glowing angel that is his bride. And have you noticed? Have you ever watched the groom? He stops rocking. He stops grinding his teeth. And his whole body melts into a smile. He is mesmerized by the beauty of his bride.

I can't wait to see my Savior's face. I can't wait to know how His eyes sparkle when He sees His bride, His church. His people that He Himself cleaned and clothed in beautiful garments white as snow. NOT that we are beautiful enough to deserve it. But that He sees us as a perfect bride.

I also think of the weight of marriage. I've never experienced it, obviously, so I don't know.  But I just think about what kind of promise you're really making when you say "I do."  You're promising to live faithfully with one person for a lifetime. You're promising to work together in sickness, health, bad economies, forgotten birthdays, demon children, burnt meatloaf, etc. You're giving your life to another person!

If (some) humans can take that commitment seriously, how much more so will our perfect Father in heaven?  When He claims the church as His bride, He's saying He loves us so much that He is willing to go through anything with us and for us. That He wants us for eternity, and that He will be always faithful. And He is. 

Here's the part I don't understand... There's one more thing I notice about a wedding. It's all about the woman (well, maybe that's not just the wedding). But it is. She gets to plan how she wants it to go, who's in it, what dress she'll spend a small fortune on.  What invitations to print, what music to play, what hors d'oeuvres to serve, on and on.  All the guests dote on the bride and say how pretty she is, and they congratulate her!  The groom hears a lot of "how'd you get that lucky?" and "you don't know what you've gotten into." haha. But again, when the groom sees his bride turn the corner to start down the aisle, he doesn't care. He is overcome by her beauty and his desire to spend his life with her.

Again, I don't understand it.  But I think it's the same way with us and our Savior.  We are an ENORMOUSLY UNWORTHY people, but He gives us all of Himself. And it's not about us, I'm not saying that. He wouldn't say that either. This life is about HIS story and HIS power and HIS glory. But the plot of that Story is all about His love for us. He is jealous for us.

What is our response? 
We start the planning. We get the invitations out to others. 
We start looking heavenward with hope! He's coming quickly! I pray that the wedding is TONIGHT.
I don't know about you, but I'm wearing tennis shoes under my gown. Because when He comes, He'll sweep me up in His arms, and then we'll run off together, hand in hand. Forever.  

"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... He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming soon.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus." (Revelation 22:17,20)

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