Well, our last big event of the summer is behind us. Our son Brian married Brianna over the weekend. As I watched him on the platform, smiling as they were announced Mr. and Mrs., greeting everyone, I thought about the many nights I cried myself to sleep not understanding my infertility.
I learned I had PCOS when I had met Tom and was pretty sure he was the one. Kids really weren’t on my radar until I learned I would most likely not be able to conceive. I had a doctor full of faith who told me not to listen to his diagnosis. He encouraged me to pray and ask others to do the same.
Not only did I pray that I could have children, I prayed for their spouses. I prayed they would be in a life-long, active relationship with Jesus where the Bible was read and prayer was everyday. That they would be good stewards and take care of each other. It was pretty amazing to watch Brianna say her vows and realize I was watching a 27 year old prayer unfold before me.
I also thought about both sets of Brian’s grandparents as the photographer captured a picture of the Arduini family and my sister and nephew. They would be so excited to see their children doing well and still meeting as often as possible. Tom comes from a family of six, and it is me and my sister now. They would be so proud of the grandchildren and absolutely dote on the great-grandkids.
Then my mind drifted to my Bible reading. Last post I shared how I’m teaching on Hosea. I’m also reading on Ezekiel and Revelation. Sheryl Pellatiro’s The Bride of Christ shows the Israelite wedding traditions and how God wants us to be ready as Revelation reveals Christ’s return. Those weddings included an engagement where the two are separated and the bride doesn’t know when the groom will return. They are to keep pure. She is to remain ready. That the bride is a beautiful symbol of the Church.
As Brianna made her way down the aisle she was in a gorgeous white dress. Her hair was professionally done and her make-up was amazing. That’s what brides are expected to do. How disappointed would we all be if we watched a bride show up disheveled and looking more like PigPen from Peanuts?
Yet as I considered my recent studies, I realized that’s what globally we seem to be offering our groom, Jesus. As a whole, we are tainted by scandal, corruption, and flat-out sin. We’re dirty, smelly, and reek of yesterday’s choices. We’re not focused on our groom nor prepared for his arrival. We’re visiting places we shouldn’t be, doing things that if we knew our groom was coming, we’d stop everything and turn our mess around.
But we don’t.
I realize this post is probably preaching to the choir. Like I shared above, this is the Body of Christ as a whole. There are church leaders blatantly taking followers on an ungodly path where the Bible is used to please the congregation, not grow the Kingdom. I read a survey awhile back that if I remember correctly, those who identity as evangelical Christians—only 1% tithe regularly. What a sullied bride we are.
What I love about my studying is there is a beautiful rhythm to what I read. In Hosea, there is heartbreaking sin and promises that God will not be a part of Israel (and our) rebellion any longer. Yet, as chapters conclude, God offers hope and restoration.
If you know you aren’t looking like a bride waiting for her groom, know restoration is available to you. Find a pastor who daily lives out the Bible and ask for counsel. Turn from sin, and confess it.
Our Groom is worth it!