It’s indisputable. Not since Diana of Wales and that guy with the Dumbo ears has the world been so entranced with British royalty. Even Shauna, the love of
my life, fumbled her way into bed at 6:00am this morning after watching the royal wedding with some friends through the wee hours of the night. But her commitment pales in comparison to the globetrotters who forked out many thousands of dollars to wedge their shoulders into the adoring sea of royal watchers converging for William and Kate’s wedding festivities and a whiff of fairy dust.
It strikes me that these folks would do just about anything—pay handsomely, use up vacation time, endure massive lineups, sleep on the sidewalk for days on end—to catch a mere glimpse of the wedding party as it glides through the streets of London. How many people, I wonder, have mustered that kind of passion and faith to be part of the ultimate wedding party, the one leading toward the marriage of Christ and his Church?
I am in that royal wedding party, you know. I’m the bride to be, in fact—along with many thousands and millions who belong to Jesus Christ by faith.
Jesus is madly in love with me, with us: “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless… this is a profound mystery” (Ephesians 5:25-27,32).
There’s something magical about a wedding dress, isn’t there? Something princess-like that roves deep into our most primal longings for fairy tales and endless love. Predictably, the press has been going nuts over Kate’s wedding dress. At first, speculation: Will it be like Diana’s? Will Kate wear the Queen’s tiara? Now, bubbling praise: Look how beautiful. She was stunning.
Christ’s bride will be far more stunning than anything the world has ever seen. A day will come when the reaction to the dress will be, “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” (Revelation 19:7,8). Come on, God’s people! Let’s all join with one voice and SAY YES TO THE DRESS.
The pageantry surrounding William and Kate’s wedding was downright spectacular. The Queen is rumored to have released thirty million pounds to fund the thing. As wonderful as this wedding was, it’s just a droplet of mist along a majestic ocean compared to the wedding of the lamb. Cherubim and Seraphim will be in attendance, encircled by a magnificent rainbow reflecting off a sea of glass around the Throne of God (Revelation 4:1-11).
The one dark spot surrounding this wedding (at least for me) has been the pettiness of the Royal family. The Obamas weren’t invited, at least in part, because Michelle got a little too friendly with the Queen by reaching for a hug. Are you kidding me? Much has been made of who was invited to the wedding, and who was not. True, the whole world got to watch, but only a select few were welcome, were invited.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come. “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’ “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city. “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless. “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
With Christ’s wedding, the many—everyone—is invited. The wonder and mystery of this wedding are, Christ both gives the invitation and becomes the
invitation. He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). The travesty of Christ’s wedding is, while people turned over heaven and earth to attend William and Kate’s wedding, most the world will receive Christ’s invitation and forget about it. William and Kate got global, around the clock news coverage. Christ will get a “Meh…” from the masses.
But when the wedding begins, a “Meh” isn’t going to get you very far. Only those who have accepted the invitation will be accepted. A day will come when it will be too late for people. “Sir! Sir!” They said. “Open the door for us!” But he replied, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you” (Matthew 25:11).
But for everyone inside, the moment of all ages will come, when God the Father announces, “You may now kiss your Bride.” And Jesus himself, eyes on fire with eternity, will lean in… and…