I'm planning a wedding. My wedding to be exact, which is coming up very quickly. I am counting down the days as every bride does, but I'm also continually reminding myself of the significance of not only my marriage, but also my wedding.
I've been to a lot of weddings, and I used to roll my eyes when another pastor turned to Genesis 1 or Ephesians 5. I felt it was "so cliché." The older I became though, I began to see the importance of these passages - marriage is ordained by God. It has been put in place to reflect His glory. John Piper writes,
"Marriage is patterned after Christ's covenant relationship to his redeemed people, the Church. And therefore, the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. That is why marriage exists" (This Momentary Marriage, 25).
This purpose of marriage is completely sobering and while my marriage has yet to come, it has already proved to be the most sanctifying relationship I've been in. But what of the purpose of a wedding?
Turn to Revelation 19 and read the beautiful imagery of our wedding with Christ. This, this is the significance of earthly weddings. Charles Spurgeon stated in a sermon:
Oh, what a day that will be when the eyes of the entire universe shall be turned in one direction and the glorious Christ, in the splendor of His Manhood and of his Godhead, shall take the hand of His redeemed Church and, before men and angels and devils, declare Himself to be one with her forever and forever! That will be the beginning of the marriage supper of the Lamb–it will be the publication to all of the great fact of mutual love and union!
When this thought enters my mind, I cannot help but be humbled.
I write this because this morning, wedding plans have gone awry. Out-of-towners shared their complaints about the hotel location. Family members continue their attempts to bring their newborns. Half our guest list has failed to RSVP. These are truly menial things, and I know that, but they sometimes seem daunting, stressful and insurmountable.
As I started to stress over all these tiny details, I remembered the amazing significance of a wedding. And instead of kindly asking people to not come to the wedding if it causes them so many issues, I must strive to extend His love and grace. I must find a way to continually share the love of Christ. I have a responsibility for my wedding to be saturated with Christ, to be a reflection of the Church's coming wedding to our betrothed - Jesus Christ. Maybe, just maybe, this display of the Gospel will be what brings others to Christ.
I encourage, no I urge you, not to dwell on the smaller things, as I am learning. Join me in rejoicing in our future wedding.
"Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready…" (Revelation 19:7).
Go with parrésia,