Today's post was written by BH member, Jenn Debrecht.
I love weddings. There really isn’t much better of a celebration than two friends publically becoming one in front of all the people who’ve cheered them on over the course of their lives. Since I’m 25 and live in Birmingham, I’ve attended a lot of weddings over the past few years.
Now, I’ve never been a bride, though one day, Lord–willing, I hope to be, but I have been a bridesmaid. Weddings that I’m a part of are especially my favorite. They’re my favorite because there’s so much anticipation. There’s engagement parties and wedding showers and bridesmaids luncheons and rehearsal dinners and, let’s face it, we live in the South so the traditions are never ending.
My best friend from college is getting married at the end of October. I was at a bridal shower in her home town a couple months ago eating chicken salad and scones (did I mention I love the South?). Mentors from her childhood, girls she went to high school with, and close family members all went around the room and said how they knew the bride before she started opening gifts. What began as initial introductions turned into each woman sharing her favorite memory with the bride, their favorite things about her, and the impact she’d had on their lives. It was deeply affirming to witness. Even those present who weren’t believers still acknowledged something different about her, a joy and light they found unique and engaging. These speeches will continue as we move through more showers and the rehearsal dinner. If the current text message thread between the bride and I are any indication, the anticipation for the wedding & reception is almost tangible.
There’s a lot of metaphors the Bible uses to talk about the church. Guess which one’s my favorite? In John 3, we’re introduced to the analogy of Christ being the groom and the church being His bride. Paul continues the theme in Ephesians 5 concluding that it is a profound mystery. Then we see in Revelation that the ultimate party is thrown to celebrate that “the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready”. The same passage goes on to refer to that very celebration as the “marriage supper of the lamb” (Revelation 19:7, 9). This won’t be a small wedding reception with a few store bought pies. This is the Messianic Banquet described in Isaiah 25:6 where “the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, aged wine well refined,” and then again in Matthew 22, “with oxen and fat calves”.
The banquet of all banquets, the party of all parties. This is Chris Hastings, Frank Stitt, and The Pioneer Woman coming together to make an unimaginable feast. A feast where the food doesn’t even begin to compare to the goodness of the Host. I want all my friends to be there. I don’t want my family to miss out. I want to celebrate the Bridegroom that’s pursued His church and called her righteous solely through His blood. I not only want to celebrate a God who’s taken a dead life and made it alive, but I want to invite others to hear that same message. What’s a party if I’m the only one present? God’s written the invitations to the wedding through His Son, and we get to deliver them.
Jesus, let me never forget that we’ve been called through a gospel of grace to invite everyone into a relationship with You. Church, can you feel it? The anticipation is building.