Jul 30, 2009

Father of the Bride

My oldest daughter is getting married in a little over a month from now (I have 4 daughters and 2 sons). For my daughter, I have the privilege of being both a minister and “father-of-the-bride”.

When she asked me to officiate at the ceremony, I asked her who was going to walk her down the aisle. She quickly reminded me that I alone was the one to fulfill that special role; (a role that I have looked forward to for all of my daughters). I was glad to hear her say that to me and to be a part of these two great people becoming “man and wife”; a role they both long to be in.

As I have attended and officiated at weddings over the years I’ve watched the bride’s father. I’ve observed friends of mine turn into complete “messes” as they walked their daughters down the aisle; men who themselves had performed many weddings over the years as ministers, but were now walking in the role as “dad”. I’m already starting to turn into “the father-of–the-bride”; which is a new role for me.

A few weeks ago, while making a patio for my future son-in-law, I was pondering what I would say at their wedding, and tears filled my eyes for no apparent reason. A few hours later I was picking raspberries from my garden and again as I thought of their wedding, once again tears filled my eyes for no apparent reason. Man, I was becoming one of those men who cry at their daughter’s wedding!

I admit that I cried at my oldest son’s wedding; tears of gratefulness for how this child became such a great man who I am very proud of. Tears of gratefulness for the wonderful woman he “chose” to be his bride; to be this loving woman I call “my daughter-in-law”.

As I stood in my garden, I thought of how much another Father was also longing to attend the wedding of His child. The Bible refers to Jesus as the “Bridegroom” and the Body of Christ (followers of Jesus) as the “Bride”. I had (perhaps) a very small glimpse of how much Jesus longs to take on a new role as our Bridegroom.

Perhaps the Spirit of God was trying to use my thoughts concerning my own daughter’s wedding as an opportunity to remind me that this isn’t all that there is; there is a wedding coming for the Kingdom of God! Jesus said in John 14:2-3 “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 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.”

According to the Bible, there is a Day coming when this Earth as we know it will pass away. A day when God will separate those who trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior and those who chose to pay for their own sins by spending an eternity in hell. (Why would you not want to trust Jesus with your life?). Those who trust Jesus will take on a new role, as Jesus’ Bride. Revelation 19:6-10 records this as: ”6 And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! 7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” 8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” 10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

The only RSVP to the wedding is putting your complete trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; which will mean turning towards God and turning from sin; something that you can only do by the conviction and the power of the Holy Spirit.

As much as I am longing to attend the wedding of my children, our Heavenly Father longs even more for the future wedding of His children.

Listen to the Holy Spirit calling out today to turn your heart and mine to things eternal; the day when we will be with Jesus forever. “And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)

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