Friday

Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. (v. 7)

Revelation 19:6-10 Friday 9 September 2022

Psalm 44:1-8

Background

In Matthew 22, Jesus gives a parable about a king throwing a wedding banquet for his son. It concludes with a wedding guest who hasn’t had the respect to dress appropriately being fairly brutally ejected. I wonder if this is the wedding feast in Jesus’ mind in our passage from Revelation today?  The king is Father God. The lamb is Jesus and the bride is the Church in Revelation 19’s description of the great wedding.

 I’ve been a Methodist presbyter for more than 20 years and a participator in sharing and serving in the Church for many more besides. My mission is to ‘make the bride beautiful’ (the Church); to help develop and encourage the Church to be a joy and delight to Jesus.

How are we going about the business of getting the Church ready for the time when it and Jesus become one? 

Just as there is beauty in a bride’s transformation, so there is beauty in preparing the Church – in enhancing what we do well. Just as make-up's purpose is not to be a mask, but a means of enhancing the beauty which is already there, the Cross of Jesus is the place we come to that our souls might be beautified. Here, we are transformed within by grace and mercy that "takes away our sin and cleanses us from all unrighteousness". Here, the Church too finds the new robes of salvation. Here, the Church has done the work of following the way of Jesus and of preaching the good news, of living holy lives. At the Cross, the overflow of grace is extended through the acceptance of our own salvation in order that we might carry it on in holy living and so serve and love the world that God has made in all of its frailty and complexity.

 Making 'the bride beautiful for the groom' in the context of the Church today involves our righteous living. It demonstrates the purity of love in service and it is expressed in our worship. The hiatus in worshipping together in the same place due to lockdown in the pandemic perhaps helped us to be less fussy about issues such as chairs and hymnbooks, rotas and music, and more intentional about the work Jesus genuinely left for his Church to be getting on with.

 

To Ponder:

  •  How might you be part of your church’s 'beauty routine'? What are you doing to assist in your local church’s beautiful actions and activities for Jesus?
  •  What was the last 'big thing' in your church you got ready for? Why was it a big deal and how were you expected to behave?
  •  Thinkabout the cleansing and beautifying nature of repentance and forgiveness. How has this enhanced your life?

A Prayer for Her Majesty The Queen
Majestic God, we thank you for your servant, Elizabeth, your faithful servant, our beloved Queen. As we mourn her death, we give thanks for her witness of devoted service, unfailing wisdom, compassionate generosity, and faithful dedication and pray that we may embrace her values and build your kingdom today and always. Amen.

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