What a glorious privilege we have as a congregation to take part in a wedding this weekend! Let us rejoice in our Heavenly Bridegroom, and let us serve with joy in this special time for Josiah and Jennifer. As we serve, let us have the proper focus on Christ, and let us meditate upon His glory and grace to us. As we do this together, we can be confident that the wedding service and all of the festivities will bring glory to HIM alone!
What a wonderful gift that God has given us in Scripture to have eyes to see our God even as we walk by faith in this present age. In the Book of Revelation we have an entire book inspired to lift up the eyes of our faith both forward to the full realization of all of Godâ€™s promises in Christ, and upward and heavenward to help us to mediate upon the things above (Col. 3:1-4). In Revelation 19, we are shown that God in His might and power has judged evil, and completely rid the world of sin and misery, to set the stage for the big wedding day of His Beloved Son.
We feel the earth shake and we see smoke rising up, and we join with the saints and angels in heaven, singing in response to this sure and inevitable judgment on sin:
â€œHallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for His judgments are true and justâ€¦â€ (Rev. 19:1b-2a).
God is to be praised by His people for the salvation by grace in Christ that we have received even while dead in trespasses and sins, even while we were His enemies (Eph. 2:1-10; Rom. 5:6ff). God is to be praised because all glory and power belong to God. We want to live our lives in Christ aspiring and determined by His grace to give God all the glory, and to recognize that all power comes from God (Rom. 11:33-36). We can be sure that God will remove all sin and unrepentant sinners who contaminate his good creation, and avenge the blood of all of his servants (19:2c).
We see a worship service in heaven, and we are invited as Godâ€™s people to rejoice and worship God with all the perfected saints and angels:
â€œPraise our God, all you His servants, you who fear him, small and greatâ€ (19:5).
In Christ, believers are His servants, desiring to live for Him; believers are those who fear God rather than man, who have a great reverence and love for God no matter what position you may hold socially or politically in this present age. God is â€œour Godâ€: our covenantal and faithful God who has redeemed our lives, and is renewing us into His image, so that we can live the joyful, God-centered lives we were created for!
Then we hear wedding bells amidst the roar of many waters and the sound of mighty peals of thunder (19:6)! Behold! Here is the greatest and most gracious demonstration of Godâ€™s glory and power in the exaltation of Jesus Christ, His Beloved Son. Look at the consummation of all of history: the Marriage of the Lamb!
â€œLet us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, for His Bride has made herself readyâ€¦â€ (19:7).
What is our final destiny as Godâ€™s people? Though often we are weary and perplexed as we travel the difficult pilgrimage in this present age, although there be temptations, frustrations, heartaches, disappointments, deaths, scoffings, beatings, even tortures, the blessed hope and eschatological relief is in sight as we walk by faith (Rom. 8:18-25). Though there seem to be painful deaths we all experience daily (1 Cor. 15:31; 2 Cor. 5:14-15), there is the glorious life fully realized in Christ that is our ultimate hope and destiny.
We should anticipate eagerly this glorious wedding day! Christ our Savior, and Bridegroom, has loved us and given Himself for us (Gal. 2:20). Christ has prepared us for this day by giving us His perfect righteousness. He has been condemned in our place for our sins (2 Cor. 5:21). He has also given us a portion of His Spirit as His Bride now to show forth the beauty of His holiness through our service to Him (19:8; cf. Eph. 2:10; Phil. 1:6). His work in us will soon be complete, and we will reflect the glory of our Bridegroom perfectly as His Beloved Bride! The Bible teaches us that when we see Jesus face to face we shall be like Him (1 John 3:1-3).
Let us mediate upon this glorious wedding day to come. Because He has given Himself for us, let us live for Him as His Betrothed, singularly devoted to Him alone. What hope we have to live in the presence of God for all eternity! Use this image graciously given to us in Revelation to focus our faith forward and to lift our eyes upward as we realize more and more today that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen (Heb. 11:1).
As a congregation, let us be thankful for the wedding weekend that our congregation is privileged to participate in! Let us pray that Christ will be glorified in the wedding service, as we serve our dearly Beloved, and let us pray that Josiah and Jennifer will be greatly blessed as they serve together as newlyweds!
In Christâ€™s love,