The bride stands at the double doors to the church sanctuary waiting for her cue to enter. She’s gorgeous, radiant; she may never look this beautiful again. The ten thousand dollar wedding gown with hand sewn pearls creates a luminescent design; the matching veil cascades behind, a gauzy frosting that settles upon the train. A master stylist has looped and piled and glued the bride’s hair into a magnificent sculpture of curls and wavy tresses. Creams and lotions, powders and beeswax have transformed her features into the face of a glamour queen. This is her moment.
As she starts down the aisle, the guests begin to hand her gifts. A brooch here, a bracelet, then another; several pure gold chains lie against the bodice of her gown. Dozens of anklets and belts of precious metals are heaped upon her. The bride stumbles. As she continues down the aisle, more and more guests add their offerings. Before she reaches her groom, she sinks to the floor unable to carry the weight.
Of course, no bride on earth will experience such a wedding, but the Bride of Christ endures that kind of walk every day as she struggles to reach her Groom.Biblical imagery often uses a wedding as the relationship between Jesus and the Church. God chose that picture to help us understand how He feels about His people. The Church is the Bride. He sees her as pure and beautiful. As she glides toward Him in virginal white and wearing the jewels He has offered to her, she is breathless with anticipation.
Unfortunately, religious dictates try to adorn her further. The man-made laws in Christendom and the rules of acceptable behavior within every denomination of the Church Universal shackle the lovely Bride until she can barely inch up the aisle toward the Bridegroom. She may collapse under the burden before she arrives at the altar.
More than anything else, I want to join my heavenly Husband as a strong bride, standing tall and proud beside Him. I don’t want to drag through life, exhausted and tattered under tons of smothering traditions.
Jesus wants nothing more from His beloved than her love. Everything else is unnecessary. If the Bride loves Him, she can do no wrong in His eyes. 1 Corinthians 13 is the Bible’s treatise on love. John the Apostle spoke eloquently on love. Love contains nothing negative. May every Christian follow John’s example and abide in that love which pleases Christ.