In Discipleship by Mike Sherwood

Hosea 2:19-20

“And I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you to me in righteousness and in justice, in steadfast love and mercy. I will betroth you to me in faithfulness and you shall know the Lord.”

Chances are that during some point in your lifetime you have either been at the center of; a participant in or witnessed family and friends sharing their marriage vows. There are few other days on this earth that can bring the amount of joy and excitement as a wedding day. Being the father of 3 children I have watched with such happiness as God brought each of their forever spouses to them to begin life together. After rings were purchased, nervous future grooms asked for blessings from parents , proposals were made and then plans commenced. I have to honestly say I never would have believed the amount of preparation that a wedding requires, but I’m just the dad so what did I know anyway. First the big one, of course I am speaking of the dress, much anguish goes into this and then tears of joy accompanied with screams of delight. Following this monumental event comes venue; flowers; caterers; wedding party and guest selections; lighting; tablescapes; menu; music; honeymoon destination; mom’s dress; dad’s tux and so on and so on. I will have to confess that at several points along the way I did offer up the option of eloping with a cash incentive. I will also confess that I am glad they didn’t take me up on my offer. There is something that is done by photographers now called the “first look”.  I saw the looks on the groom’s faces when they were first able to see their soon to be bride in their makeup and dress, well let’s just say it was a look of pure happiness and a memory I will hold dear always. I then understood why all the event planning was so important, not that the flowers, food or venue took top billing  but the vision of a bride in the purest of white walking to meet her groom was at center stage. That brought me to this part in the book of Ephesians :

Ephesians 5: 25-27

“Husband’s, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor without spot or wrinkle or any such thing that she might be holy and without blemish”

God gave us many glimpses of future heavenly events while here on earth, but in my opinion not one as meaningful as the marriage of a woman to a man. Our Christian journey begins with faith that is placed in the work of Jesus alone then followed by a lifetime of the gospel transforming  us into the image of that very same Jesus. This work of perfecting is setting us apart from the path we once walked, as God speaks to us and changes us through His word. We pursue the holiness that God has called us to walk in by living a life of repentance and relationship with our Abba Father. Our Savior Jesus gave himself to be bruised and beaten, oppressed and afflicted to cleanse our spots and blemishes. The bride’s splendor that we will one day stand in, is the sanctified holiness that only His saving grace can accomplish in us. The whole of our life is those few hours before the wedding when we will then bring  glory to Christ as the spotless bride standing  before her husband and king. A band of precious metal to signify an eternal vow and a never ending bond;  white garments of purity; a veil that will be pulled back to reveal what Christ himself has completed in us.

How are your wedding preparations coming along, is there much yet to do? What bride wouldn’t want to present herself beautiful and adorned for her groom.

-Mike Sherwood
TJC Elder

Listen to the latest series “Two Shall Become One” to hear more.