I have the privilege of performing the wedding ceremony for a couple at their home in our neighborhood later today. These two aren’t part of a church family, but they wanted to be married in a religious ceremony rather than at the courthouse. They called our church a few months ago and asked me to marry them, and I agreed: they seem well matched for each other, and I am honored to play this important role in their lives.
Over the past few months, I have met with them on several occasions to get to know them better and to help them understand the Christian approach to marriage. I’ve seen some of the difficult life situations they face, and I’ve learned their perspective on their relationship and what marriage means to them. Last night, we had the official wedding rehearsal – which was followed by my first experience eating a deep-fried turkey! – and I was struck by the joy and excitement of all who were in attendance.
Weddings are (usually) such enjoyable occasions. If all goes well, the uniting of husband and wife is a reason for everyone to celebrate. All the stress and tension that goes into planning a wedding seems to disappear once the ceremony begins. And certainly once the ceremony is over, the participants can look back on all the preparatory work and (hopefully) say, “All that work was worth it!”
We as believers in Christ are constantly preparing ourselves for a great wedding that will take place when Christ returns. As Revelation 19:6-8 (NIV) says:
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 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.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
Brothers and sisters, we are in that season of preparation for our wedding day. Let us continually work on clothing ourselves with appropriate wedding attire, so that when the Lamb comes and the wedding begins, we will be ready – and so that we will be able to say, “All this preparation was worth it!” What a day that will be!