I have never been completely sure that the metaphor of the church as the bride of Christ is entirely biblical. (No need to go into that here, because maybe it doesn’t matter, but Jesus didn’t call his church that, and I find it interesting that practically all of Christendom accepts the idea without question. But as I said, perhaps it’s not important. We’re definitely invited to the wedding! 🙂 ) Last week, though, I was working on my current Bible study, and it gave an illustration about a wedding that started me thinking. Here it is, briefly:
The chapel was beautiful, the groom and the guests were waiting, the music swelled…and in came the bride. But the bride was wearing sweats, rubbing her eyes, and her hair was a wreck. She looked around gasped in horror, and said, “Ohhh, I am SOOOO sorry! I completely forgot what today was!”
Ridiculous, yes, but it makes a point. If the church is indeed the bride of Christ, then are we taking the relationship seriously enough?
I have read quotes saying that the best kind of friendship is the one where, even if you don’t see each other for a long time, you can immediately pick up where you left off. In other words, a deep friendship doesn’t need constant maintenance and massaging. It is one that is simply there whenever you need it. I agree with that, and have many of that type of friendships. I treasure the friends who are just comfortable to be with, yet don’t require constant reassurance.
But for an engaged couple, this would be a very strange relationship. If you went about your life as usual and only talked when you happened to cross paths, if you never discussed plans for your future together, wouldn’t it seem that you weren’t very serious about getting married? A couple who are excited to be joining their lives will naturally talk often and be very intentional about planning for their life together.
How many Christians seem to have the first type of relationship with God rather than the second? A relationship with God is not one where we have a quick chat now and then. There is nothing casual about this relationship. We are planning for a life together—not just a few years on this earth, but eternity! Together forever.
And that’s kind of a big deal.