Last weekend, I had the great pleasure of helping to host a bridal shower. The bride-to-be was radiant with the hopes of a beautiful future with the one she loves. The food was delicious, and the cake was a perfectly moist pound cake with strawberry filling and buttercream frosting. She received so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts, and her joy was contagious as we watched her taking the steps towards the next phase of her life.
While I observed, I couldn't help but think about the way that we, too, are like this bride. We are waiting for the One we love to come and take us to be with Him forever. I like the way the weddings of the Bible were conducted... The bride and her bridesmaids knew a general time frame for the groom to come, but they did not always have an exact moment when they should be ready. They sat and waited with great expectancy. I'm sure that they took turns looking down the street, the waiting room filled with giggles and nervous chatter. I imagine that each of the girls was thinking about how wonderful it would be when their groom came to take them home. They were probably ready for days before he arrived.
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.'" Matthew 25:1-13
This parable of Jesus is an interesting look at how we behave. We are eager for the Lord's return, but even in our excited state, some of us are not prepared. My friend who had the bridal shower was so happy to be gathering the things needed to make their new home comfortable and livable. She anticipated the needs that she would have in establishing their lives, and the ladies who came were thrilled to help her get what she needed. That kind of excitement blended with preparation is what our Bridegroom wants from us. We don't just agree to be a bride; we also prepare for His return. We stay in eager fellowship with Him. We maintain an atmosphere of purity and patience. We pursue His peace and avoid the frenzy of thoughtless chaos. In an effort to be ready to meet Jesus face to face, we seek His presence in our hearts until the day of His return.
We are brides. It is easy to grow stale in earthly marriage, but life in God makes everything new. The Lord is coming. We can be filled with anticipation and excitement. We should keep watch to see when He makes His glorious appearance. We should be ready to go with Him the moment He arrives. What a glorious day awaits! Congratulations are in order! I will see you at the feast.