The Bible talks about heaven as a wedding feast: A grand celebration of love… Where friends and family adorn themselves with their finest clothes and jewels… For a sweet reunion and affirmation of relationships: both old and new… Wedding guests fill themselves with fine food and drink… Revel in music and dancing… Give and receive gifts… All centered on promises to love and be loved. This wedding imagery is woven throughout the Scriptures. From Book of Genesis (the first book of the Bible) to the Book of Revelation (the last book of the Bible)… From the Song of Songs to the parables of Jesus. It’s such a powerful picture of fidelity and fulfillment!
So the more weddings I’ve attended, the more I’ve come to appreciate this biblical wedding imagery. This imagery weaves its way into every strand of the celebration. I had the honor of officiating the wedding ceremony for my friends Cam and Meg today. And even though I was supposed to be “The Professional,” the emotions completely overcame me several times. Watching Cam and Meg watch each other as she came down the aisle, my mind flashed back to my own wedding to Marci… My mind flashed forward to the weddings of my children… And, on some subconscious level, I thought about all the different faith-filled commitments I’ve witnessed through the years. Both commitments to spouses and commitments to Christ.
So even though I can’t explain exactly why, my emotions are accessible in a wedding in way that is unique. It’s like watching the unfolding of human history. Generational dynamics make more sense to me. The speeches, the music, the poetry… they all strike a nerve. The older I get, the more I appreciate the reunion aspect of a wedding. How fun it is to see old friends again! We don’t get to see each other much at all in our everyday lives. So when we see each other at a wedding, we smile true smiles and hug crushing hugs. We talk quickly, with animated faces and body language. We rotate from table to table to catch up on a thousand different conversations.
It’s heaven. Almost literally.
It’s almost like I hear the voice of the King shouting, “Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet!” It’s as if I hear the voices of the wedding guests singing: “Let us rejoice and be glad and give… glory [to our Lord God Almighty]! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.” Jesus is the Lamb, and we — the Church — are His Bride. We get to be together forever, for richer or poorer… in sickness and in health… through thick and thin.
And that’s certainly something to celebrate.