Revelation 19; Isaiah 5-6; Psalm 109:20-31
We’ve all heard the stories. There’s something about a wedding that can bring out the worst in people. I’m sure that none of you, nor none of your friends fit the description, but we hear stories of other ladies who become so abusive as they get ready to be married that they’ve earned a special name: Bridezilla. These brides want to run everything and have been known to demand people buy hyper-expensive dresses, wear shoes dyed “just the right color,” oh, the stories people tell! These brides get so obsessed with getting everything “just right” for the wedding that they seem to misplace their sanity. They go into an “it’s all about me” mode that destroys life-long friendships. Too often it seems that they pour so much into the wedding, that they don’t have much left for the marriage.
Now, to be fair, grooms and mothers of the brides have been known to exhibit some of these same behaviors for an hour-long ceremony and then a three-hour reception. The problem is that if you understand the concept and purpose of marriage, you should be planning for the next fifty or more years together instead of worrying so much about that beginning hours. Still, weddings are a time of celebration because they do start what should be a lifetime together. When God describes His relationship with His people, He describes it as a marriage. When we see the story of the world preparing for a new heaven and a new earth, the beginning is described as the wedding of the Lamb. “Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:6-7)
The next verse in this passage talks about the wedding dress made of “fine linen” which is then described as the righteous acts of God’s holy people. The wedding, the beginning of the time that starts with the new heaven and the new earth, takes place after the fall of “Babylon the Great.” There is rejoicing. People are shouting “Hallelujah” and praising God because of His victory and because the new age will begin with Christ joined together with His church for the rest of eternity. There is rejoicing throughout the realm of heaven because evil has been overthrown, defeated. God will reign over all things for all eternity without having to deal with the beast, its followers, or any of its influence. The bride, the Church, has made herself ready by her faithfulness through persecution.
I’m just a small part of the Church Universal. I haven’t been persecuted, nor have most of my fellow followers of Christ here in America. We have been blessed. While I would not invite persecution, of course, I wonder if I would stay faithful during persecution? I wonder how persecution would affect my fellow believers, the Church, were we to deal with it here. The Church has lost a lot of its favor in society and we see some falling away already. How many of us might slip away, deny our faith, or even make accommodations by offering that yearly sacrifice to the leader of government so that we can say we did our patriotic duty? Even now we, the Church, are weaving the linen for the dress. We are making ourselves ready by our faithfulness to Him. When we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, visit those in prison, take care of a stranger, or any similar activity described by Jesus in His parable, we’re weaving a dress fit for the wedding of the Lamb. Using what God has given us to care for others is so much better than focusing on accumulating gold, or as I call it, heavenly paving material. We have the choice to take care of ourselves, or find ways to help others. Make yourself ready for the wedding!
Lord, remind me that You have called me to care for others. Keep my eyes open so I can meet needs.