We read of a great event waiting for all who believe. This event is when we finally take on the form God intended for us from the beginning. When this form we now wear will be replaced with the one the Father made for us. No longer naked but clothed in true righteousness. That is Paul’s good news for us today.
When thinking about Paul’s words today through the Spirit I’m reminded of a wedding. I know that traditions have changed a lot over time but I want to look back at a traditional wedding. One where the bride takes on the name and protection of the groom.
The journey begins when the groom asks that all important question, “Will you marry be?” Jesus asks us a very similar question, “Will you become Mine?” Those two questions and the following answer set everything else in motion. A “yes” answer is cause to celebrate while a “no” leaves deep wounds.
I want to go with the “yes” for our discussion today. “Yes my love, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, as your wife.” “Yes Jesus, I want You as my Lord and Savior. I want to give You my life.”
There is so much to do now to get ready for that special day. The first step is the announcement to family and friends. The joy of the “new couple” overflows and they have to tell someone! That is true of both unions. I have as of yet to meet a new believer who is not overjoyed by his/her decision that they can’t wait to tell someone. It is a little trickier in countries where being a Christian is dangerous, but they find a way to share their good news anyway.
Official arrangements begin to take place. There are the wedding invitations. The first step here is determining the date, time and location for the event. Next comes the number of guests to invite. This is a little easier for the engaged couple as all these variables can be worked out between the two individuals.
When we accept Jesus’ invitation we don’t know the date, time or location of His return and our final “marriage” ceremony. But we do know something about the number of guests He wants to invite; EVERYONE. He puts no limits on the number of attendees and He wants us to give each one we meet a personal invitation to join in this celebration.
As the day approaches the conduct of the two is important. By giving thought to the details of the wedding a commitment to each other becomes evident. The bride is traditionally the one who carries most of the weight of making the arrangements, but the groom’s interest and support is essential to her. The groom who cares nothing for the planning and preparation his bride is putting into their day is discounting her and demonstrating his commitment level to their future. Her happiness is intertwined in their future happiness.
Jesus is intimately interested in our preparation time. He wants to be involved in every aspect of it. From choosing which path to walk to what to serve the guests, He is interested in it all. He wants to make each decision with His intended.
The wedding cake, the flowers, the music, the seating of the guests, and the wedding clothes all require, and deserve, careful planning. The conduct of the two leading up to the day of the wedding speaks of their commitment to each other. This is the time to examine their hearts more fully and show their love more practically.
The milk and meat of the word, prayer, praise, serving those in need, and the presence of the Spirit require our attention as our “wedding day” approaches. “Alterations” and “fittings” occur throughout our journey as our eyes are opened to new precepts through His word.
When the day arrives for our bride and groom there is much celebration. The two commit, before God and company, to live as one and care for the other as long as they live. The moment is here when the bride puts off her old self and becomes one with her husband. “I now introduce to you Mr. and Mrs. ___.” From this moment on she has changed.
On our “wedding day” with Jesus we will put off the old and become new too. We wore His “ring” when we answered yes, but on that day we will wear His robe of righteousness too. No longer will we be naked or wearing rags but we will be FULLY clothed in His Spirit. This garment will need no more alterations. It was designed carefully by God for each of us. No two are just alike. Each will bear the design reflecting our walk with Him from the moment we said yes until the day we step into His arms.
Father God, I pray my “gown” doesn’t have rips and tears stains from all the times I have fallen. I know what a master weaver You are and can imagine You turning those places into the beauty of the candle we spoke of yesterday. I want to honor You with my life. Not just so my “gown” will be beautiful but because I Love You. Please forgive me for being silent so long and not “inviting guests” along the way. Help me learn more from Your word every day. Inspire me to pray and praise You daily. Thank You for the music You put in my heart for that reason. And help me serve my brothers and sisters with love, even the ones that are hard to love. I am so excited about our final face to face day!