The Bride of Christ

Last weekend, my husband Nathan and I attended a wedding. The groom was a young man from our church named Nate whom I had directed in many VBS plays. I really love Nate and his heart. After he graduated college, though, we kind of lost track, and I hadn’t seen him in a couple of years. I had never met his fiancee and I was looking forward to seeing her for the first time!

The wedding was beautiful and clearly planned so that Nate would not see his bride until she was standing at the top of the aisle. I was torn! It would be my first glimpse of her too and I wanted to see what she looked like, but my favorite thing at weddings is actually to watch the groom when the bride is walking down the aisle. It’s one of the few times you can really catch a guy’s true emotions because they are usually written all over his face. It’s very touching.

So I chose to watch Nate. He’s a manly guy, and he doesn’t show a lot of emotion (unless I’m telling him to in a play!) and yet, I knew the exact moment when his bride stepped into the doorway. The look on his face captured so many things – love, joy, longing, pride, and a sense of, “At last!” Here it was, the day was finally here, and she was walking toward him, ready to start their forever.

As I watched Nate, I had a thought that has never occurred to me before. I know that we as Christ’s Church, people who follow Him, are called the bride of Christ, and that we will be gathered to Him when He comes again. Suddenly, I wondered, if Christ is the groom, will He be looking at us like that? Is He really waiting with that kind of anticipation, longing for the day when we will be united for eternity? Does He really love us like that? Will He look on His church with all that love and longing and pride and say, “At last! Here you are, and we can be together now at last!” I think so. And that thought takes my breath away.

Psalm 8:1a, 3-4
Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?

And yet, the Bible describes us as His bride. Not someone He’s willing to reluctantly admit into His company if we meet a series of demands, but His bride. Someone He cares deeply for. Someone He loves and longs to be with. How can that be? And yet it is. 1 John 3:1 says “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

I know I can hardly wait to be with Christ, but it’s astounding to think that He might also feel that way about me. And about you. About all of us. Praise God, only He can have that kind of love!

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