Ramblings Of A Curate!!
After a year of weddings being postponed, they are all coming at once. (reminds me of the bus joke, where you waiting hours for one bus and all of a sudden three turn up).
It is such a joy to preside at weddings uniting couples together before God just as He had ordained before time itself. As the service itself is a precursor to what God has planned, that we the church, the bride will be united with our Groom, Christ for eternity.
Yet there is much more that I never thought about when that day comes. It is not just two people coming together to be one, it is all the stuff, the past everything that makes up the identity of that person that also comes as part of the contract.
Tim Chester at Keswick really helped me, a simpleton, understand deeper what is happening.
When I married Stephanie, she did not only get me but she got my three children, my humour and yes I am funny! She also got my collectables (trying to sound more grown-up by not saying toys.) I on the other hand got Steph's Audrey Hepburn cover and films, and all her country music. I wonder who got the better deal there?
So when we marry Christ, we come to Him with our sinful nature, all those things we have done in the past that deserve God's judgement and punishment. Christ comes with His righteousness, He takes on our sinfulness as we take on His righteousness. We are no longer condemned because we have put upon Christ's righteousness, yet through us united and married to Christ, He has now taken our condemnation and punishment for us.
It doesn't seem fair, does it? Just because Christ chose us to be His bride means He will inherit our judgement for all the things we have done. While we doing nothing inherit His redemption, His eternal life.
All because Christ says choose us and says "I do" He is nailed to the cross for our transgressions. That my friends, is grace, a gift freely poured out and given, it's not fair, we didn't even ask for it. Yet His love compelled Christ to be obedient to the Father and take our place upon the cross. So for whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.”
We help prepare couples for their lifetime commitment to one another by enabling conversations to take place and having them consider things that they never thought about before. Hoping they might discover some new things about each other that will help them on their journey.
I wonder as we wait for that day when we are united with our Bridegroom, how are we preparing ourselves and others. After all, we don't want to be unprepared like the brides who did not prepare enough oil for their lamps.
St Andrew's Church