Last Saturday Debbie and I attended the wedding of one of our ministry leaders Cameron Shoemaker and his bride Hayley. Cameron directs our children’s worship team, who by the way knocked it out of the park during last week’s VBS. Cameron also manages 98.5, our church’s radio station. Cameron was dressed nicely in a tuxedo and missing his trademark headband but Hayley was where all eyes were focused as the bride. She was radiant, glowing and joyful. Her wedding dress spotless white and adorned beautifully for her groom. This is the image the Bible gives us in four different passages of how we Christ’s church are to prepare ourselves for his return.
The imagery and symbolism of marriage is applied to Christ and the body of believers known as the church. The church, the bride of Christ are those people who have trusted in Jesus Christ as their personal savior and have received the promise of eternal life. In the New Testament, Christ, the bridegroom, has sacrificially and lovingly chosen the church to be His bride (Ephesians 5:25-27). Just as there was a betrothal period in biblical times during which the bride and groom were separated until the wedding, so is the bride of Christ separate from her bridegroom during the church age. Her responsibility during the betrothal period is to be faithful to Him (2 Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:24). At the Second Coming of Christ, the church will be united with the Bridegroom, the official "wedding ceremony" ensues and with it, the eternal union of Christ and His bride will take place. (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
Tomorrow in this blog we will look at how the communion we take each Sunday is a foreshadowing of our participation in the heavenly wedding feast.
Your pastor and partner in ministry,