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At the Altar 2Quiet chatter filled the church. Warm red light streamed down from the stained-glass windows on to the trail of pink rose petals. The organ pipes began to bellow announcing the bride. White waves of fabric rolled down the red carpet and abruptly halted just short of the altar.  This was the day she’d been waiting for—her dream come true. Yet, something briefly hindered her from moving forward.

The excitement and confidence she once held turned swiftly into a mountain of fear. Her thoughts became lost in a sea of doubt. I’m about to be a wife. What does this mean for me? She felt her identity and freedom slipping away, never to be found again.

The groom stood smiling and ready to receive his beloved bride. He looked forward to lifting her veil and kissing her cherry-blossomed lips. He marveled at the sacrifice she was making to live their dream together. The oneness and intimacy they longed to share together was about to become a life-long reality. What could be sweeter?

She took a deep breath and stepped forward. Her father stepped back and the pastor initiated the exchange of vows. From this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health each of them promised to love and cherish one another. Rings, symbolizing their new- found covenant, graced each of their fingers. The thoughts returned. What am I doing? Why am I doing this?

Then she remembered the day her mother presented her with a thin gold band with a small solitaire encased in a heart. The card read, “My dearest daughter, this promise ring is a reminder of who you are. You’re the bride of Jesus. He sacrificed himself for you so you could live freely in union with Him. You’re pure and blameless in His sight.  Someday, you will meet your prince, and the two of you shall become one. Until then, wait. Remain faithful.”

Her fear subsided and her thoughts returned to the altar. What a sacred place of beautiful sacrifice and union between man and woman. My marriage reflects my union with Christ. My sacrifices become gain because I’m living a life of unity with my true love. Oh, what we can accomplish together.

Jesus is coming back again to wed His bride, the church and restore His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven (Rev. 19 & 21).  The question is, are we ready?

Don’t dismiss what you are capable of when you surrender fleshly desires to live a life of unity with Christ.   Your life is not over; it’s just beginning.