Excitement is brewing in the Tyvoll household these days: our one and only (man) child is getting married at the end of the summer. Now, as I’ve attended weddings over the years, I’ve often thought, “Why all this expense to celebrate one day? Is this necessary?” My attitude toward weddings was the same as my attitude towards Christmas. I used to think, “Why all this fuss, decorating and buying gifts to commemorate the birth of Jesus? Why can’t we keep it simple?”
Several years ago, my attitude toward Christmas changed when someone suggested a metaphor to me: Imagine a kingdom filled with happy, joyful subjects. Their king was benevolent, fair, and dearly loved by all. Every year, when the birthday of the king approached, the subjects went into high gear with lots of excitement, preparing to celebrate their king. Extravagant decorations were hung on all the walls; plans were made with great enthusiasm. Everyone was immersed in preparing a celebration that would demonstrate their love for their king.
This image helped me be less “Scrooge-ish” about all the folderol made at Christmas. I realized celebrating the birth of King Jesus by tree decorating and buying gifts for my loved ones could be acts of worship of our Incarnate King.
“Why is she writing about Christmas in June?” you may ask. Well, did I mention my son is getting married at the end of the summer? As Stan and I have become somewhat immersed in the planning and expense a wedding requires, it occurred to me that I could be less “Scrooge-ish,” by seeing this wedding as an opportunity to reflect on the ultimate Wedding Day, when Jesus the Bridegroom returns for His Bride. The Book of Revelation describes this day of days:
“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 God’s holy people.) Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” (7-9)
And it continues in chapter 21: “Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth …, I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” (21:1–2)
Talk about an elaborate and costly Wedding! Picture the Bride Herself, and the massive supper with thousands of guests. Who paid for this expensive Wedding? As Paul wrote to the husbands of the Ephesus church, “…love your wives, just as 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—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:25–32)
As I write this article, I’m realizing my preparations and sacrifices for my son’s wedding could become acts of worship by reflecting on what my Ultimate Wedding Day will be like. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross for my sin, I will be joining the Church as we watch our Bridegroom return for us.
“As a young man marries a young woman, …as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)
Even if you aren’t preparing for a wedding, won’t you join me in meditating on our upcoming Wedding to the Lamb?
Betsy Tyvoll is a member of GRC. She is deeply thankful to the Lord for being able to participate in the worship, work, and fellowship she has found in her church.