Like a Bride

Like a bride waiting for her groom…

This weekend my niece is getting married. On the same day, my daughters’ Grampy is getting buried.

Like a bride waiting for her groom
We’ll be at Church ready for You
Every heart longing for our King
We sing “even so come”
Lord Jesus, come 
Even so come
Lord Jesus, come

Love and hope, the anticipation, the bride waiting for her groom, longing to be one, to be united for and in life, anticipating the future. Surrounded by beauty, joy, and dancing the ceremony begins and ends as they enter life anew.

Love and hope, life and death, transition from the here to the future, from here to eternity – a wedding and a funeral. They seem so different and yet they are alike.

Love and hope, the bride waiting for her groom. The transition from life to life, the invitation The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. Revelation 22: 17

I’ve recently been reading the Ragamuffin Gospel with my life group. The Chapter for this week was The Second Call. In it Brennan Manning talks about our invitation to the wedding banquet, such appropriate timing with the upcoming wedding and funeral.

Manning talks about seeing a group of people heading from a wedding to the reception, lining up to go into the door, looking “like they were going into a festive celebration.”

“But,” he says, “most of us stand outside the banquet door listening to the merriment and festivity inside, half hoping that there really is a banquet in there and that it’s the nature of the world to be in celebration. We’d like to go in and celebrate, but wow! What if it’s wrong?”

He continues:

“Why don’t a lot of us go in now? Because we know that inside it’s not a perfect banquet for the simple fact that we are still living between the cross and the resurrection. Christianity doesn’t deny the reality of suffering and evil. Remember after Jesus came down the mount of Transfiguration, he told his disciples that he was going up to Jerusalem – that he would be executed and that he would triumph over death. Jesus was not the least bit confident that he would be spared suffering. He knew that suffering was necessary. What he was confident of was vindication. Our hope, our acceptance of the invitation to the banquet, is not based on the idea that we are going to be free of pain and suffering. Rather it is based on the conviction that we will triumph over suffering.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good. Romans 8:28

I saw this Second Call that Brennan Manning spoke of in the life of my girls’ Grampy. I watched him become more caring, compassionate and loving. When he was diagnosed with cancer his concern was for his wife, he was at peace with staying (living) or going (dying). He had accepted the invitation. This Saturday those that knew him will be comforted to know he has joined the wedding feast of those who are no longer living in the in-between.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had vanished, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. I heard a loud voice proclaiming from the throne: ‘Now at last God has his dwelling among men! He will dwell among them and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes; there shall be an end to death, and to mourning and crying and pain; for the old order has passed away!’ Revelation 21:1-4

 

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