An Unusual Wedding

Friday, September 23, 2005

Ephesians 5:31-32 – "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. (NIV)

Last summer, I attended a most unusual wedding. It started out beautifully, with the pastor explaining the politically incorrect but thoroughly biblical pattern for a happy marriage from Ephesians 5. He told us that if husbands would love their wives like Christ loved the Church and gave His life for her, it would be easy for wives to submit to their husbands, like the Church, the bride, is to submit to her groom, Christ.

Then, as the vows were being said, the groom began to totter. There had been reports that he had been sick with flu the night before. The pastor helped us relax, with healthy doses of humour, and a chair was brought for the groom to sit on. But afterwards, during the picture-taking on the lawn, after only a couple of poses, the groom was extremely sick to his stomach. After a couple of hours waiting in vain for him to recover, the wedding party asked me to lead them in prayer for his recovery. It was then decided to take him to the hospital emergency ward, where he was given two litres of fluid intravenously for dehydration, along with medication for headache and nausea. Meanwhile, hard decisions had to be made, and the wedding banquet went ahead without him.

What a contradiction: a wedding banquet without a groom! But then, I began to think about how easy it is for the bride, the Church, to carry on with our Sunday morning celebrations, going through the motions of worship, giving no thought to Christ, the groom, and acting as if He were not present.

Fortunately, a couple of hours late, the groom arrived, completely restored, ate his supper, and rejoiced everyone's hearts in God's miraculous answer to prayer. The rest of the evening went as planned.

Prayer: Lord, as we worship You in our churches this weekend, make us fully aware of Your presence with us. Forbid, Lord, that we should stand up, sit down, bow our heads, and think of everything else but You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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Robin Ross <>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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