Over the weekend, I got the honour to witness a close friend's glamorous wedding.
It was filled with everything you could imagine from every little girl's dream wedding: a strong man, a perfect venue, family and friends, a breathtaking flower wall, a 5-tiered cake and, let's not forget, an intricate and stunning designer gown.
It was simply beautiful. Yet one of the most magical moments at this wedding (and well, any wedding I have ever had the privilege to attend) is the look on the groom's face at the end of the aisle as she (his princess) walks down.
The Bride of Christ
This moment has gotten me thinking as we too, as the Church, are referred to as the Bride – the Bride of Christ.
In Revelation chapter 19, verses 7-8 we read, "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. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear."
Much like my friend, who had spent months planning and preparing herself and every detail of this wedding, we too are called to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Jesus.
Think about how long it takes a bride to get ready for her big day? Those early morning exercise classes, months or even years of saving money, making sacrifices to ensure that she is her very best; from hair and makeup, to her open heart letting someone else in to become one flesh.
Ephesians chapter 5, verses 21-32 puts it like this:
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour.
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansingher by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church."
If we are, as the Bible says, the Bride of Christ, then shouldn't we as "engaged people" be called to also get ourselves ready and give our best?
This challenged me to look at the way I speak, act, guard and open my heart towards the things of God.
I too want to get to the end of the aisle and see my saviour's eyes the same way, if not more in love, proud and excited, as those grooms waiting at the end of their aisles to say I do.
Meenal Chandra is a Sydney based writer who wants to prepare herself to be radiant and ready.
Meenal Chandra's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html