a_great_mysteryI was stunned by her beauty. As I stood on the platform next to the pastor and the groomsmen, my beautiful bride stepped into the back of the church holding her father’s arm. As she came down the aisle in her long, flowing wedding gown, smiling at me through her veil, I stood transfixed. I could not believe that this special day had finally arrived.

The minister asked, “Who gives this woman to be married to this man?” My future in-laws replied, “We do.” Then her father sat down. As she turned to look up toward me, I melted in the moment. She looked so pretty and innocent, standing there with a glow about her. How did I deserve this lovely lady?

Poke in My Back

Suddenly I felt a poke in my back. For a moment I was confused. Then the pastor leaned forward and whispered, “Go get her!” I was so caught up in the delight of seeing my precious marriage partner that time stood still. Quickly I stepped down to her side, took her hand and placed it securely in my arm and together we ascended the few steps and stood before the minister.

I don’t think that it is an accident that the Bible uses the metaphor of a bride to describe the church. The Lord says, “I will betroth you to Me forever; yes, I will betroth you to Me” (Hosea 2:19). Paul also uses this symbol: “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). Christ loves the church just a husband is to love his wife (Ephesians 5:25-27). When speaking of the unity of husband and wife, he writes, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” (v. 32).

Thirty two years have gone by and I still find myself admiring the beautiful woman God brought into my life. In the same way, Christ admires us. Jesus longs to be united with us. He yearns to see us and looks forward to our union like a groom is enamored with his bride. Are you ready for that wedding day? Do you need a poke in the back to remind you?