Years ago, a girl from a wealthy family in Natchez, Mississippi, fell in love with a poor boy from the country. Their families consented to a wedding, albeit reluctantly, when the boy and girl persisted in professing their passion for one another.
Since the wealthy bride's family was embarrassed to have the country bumpkin in their city church, they decided to have the wedding at the rural church of the groom. When the Saturday of the wedding arrived, people began to fill the pews of the little house of worship. The groom's side, that is. The bride's side remained empty. No family of the bride, and no bride.
The organist played happy wedding music in anticipation of a celebration that appeared to be over before it began. The preacher looked at the forlorn face of the groom as the appointed hour came and went. The minister had never felt so sorry for a fellow in all of his days. "That girl ain't coming," the preacher thought. "Her family has talked her out of it."
Just as they were about to give up and send everybody home, a cloud of dust arose on the horizon. It was the bride and her family, rushing in, all out of breath, dressed for the wedding. The preacher proceeded to lead the smiling groom and his sweaty, breathless bride in a quick exchange of “I do.”
At the reception, they learned the rest of the story from the father of the bride. It seems that the bride's wedding dress was at the dry cleaners, and when they went to pick it up that Saturday morning, the cleaners was closed. The father of the bride had to make frantic phone calls and demand that the owner of the cleaners open up on his day off. After finally fitting the dress on the frantic bride, they set out into the countryside to find the groom's little church, only to get lost. This was long before the days of cell phones and
Imagine the joy of the bride when she saw the little church at the end of the gravel road. Imagine the joy of the groom when he saw his bride riding up in a cloud of dust. Yet none of that can compare with the joy that the church, the "bride of Christ" will have when we see our Lord Jesus coming to take us up to heaven!
"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" (Revelation 19:7, ESV).
You might think that I made up this amazing story, but I did not. The preacher who performed the wedding tells me it really happened. What is even more amazing is that the marriage of Jesus, the Lamb of God, and the church, the Bride of Christ, is really going to happen, too. Will you be there?
(Copyright 2011 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.)