The book of Revelation pictures the church as the Bride of Jesus Christ (Rev 19:7-8). So if you are a Christian you need to know you’re engaged. When you’re engaged life is different. You are focused on and preparing for the big day. As a pastor I do a lot of pre-marital counseling and one of the very first questions I love to ask a bride-to-be is how many days until the wedding. Inevitably each one of them blurts out the answer without hesitation. If we are engaged to Jesus Christ we should be preparing for the big day too, His return.
In the time the New Testament was written marriages were a little different. Back then a marriage had three important parts the promise, the preparation and the party. The promise involved making the right connection between the groom and the Father of the bride. When a deal was struck the marriage was considered official, although the couple did not let live together. During the preparation the groom would go off and in many cases actually build the house or apartment in which he and his bride would live. Often this took upwards of a year. Last came the party. When all the work was done the groom would come for his bride and take her to her new home where they would be husband and wife. All this was celebrated by a party!
For Christians, the cross was the promise. There Jesus secured the engagement by making all the arrangements for our sin. The party is coming when he returns for us. This means that right now we are in the preparation phase. Jesus himself even said so: “Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)”.
So are you ready for His return? When the book of Revelation tells us the church is the bride it also reveals how we can be ready; by being clothed in righteousness. And dressing correctly is important, just ask any young woman who is engaged…she is on the hunt for the perfect wedding dress. While not all of us are meant to wear dresses, we are called to wear something appropriate for Christ’s returns. We are properly attired when we live and act in a righteous manner. When we live out the commands of Jesus. When we seek justice, love mercy, offer forgiveness and grace and live in peace.
Are you wearing your best? Are you living like your engaged?
Why do you suppose Jesus choose to use a marriage metaphor for his church?
What are some ways you are wearing righteousness?