We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:19
On Saturday I went to an absolutely beautiful wedding – gypsophila everywhere, cream tea with homemade jam, ivy and fairy lights adorning the ceiling and a bride that simply took your breath away and brought tears to the eyes. But if there was one thing about this wedding that was more beautiful than anything else, it is that it was Christ centred from beginning to end.
When with my friend at university, nothing made me happier than sitting and listening to her talk about how her and her husband met and got together and slowly, over time, fell completely in love. To sit and hear stories of how she went from ‘he would never love me’ to standing hand in hand at the altar making their vows to one another. And that’s how it is with Jesus. He takes us from ‘He would never love me’ to the bride of Christ. The wedding, as I’ve said, was fabulous, with everyone joining for a cream tea after the service and all the fun of a ceilidh in the evening but at a wedding, every moment spent with the bride or groom is precious and cherished. All eyes are on the prettiest girl and the most handsome man in the room, each waiting for their turn with the happy couple, they only ones who can name every guest present from all different backgrounds and circles of life. Then the time comes when you get to catch up with your friends and really share the joy of their special day, fully aware that this time you are talking to the most important people, sharing things that only you know about. When Christ calls us, He calls us all by name to sit at the top table, elevated to the position of most important at the party. We can talk freely for hours and most wonderfully we can share in the glory, the beauty and the splendour of Christ. When I chatted to the bride on Saturday and she gave me a big hug, not once did she lose any of her beauty but for that moment I was elevated to highest importance. I was friend of the bride, catching up as we would on any other day, even if I had to stick the card on the present with avengers plasters in the absence of sellotape because even at a wedding sometimes you have to make do. It was such a privilege to be there on their day and even baking cakes and taking a few photos, it was an honour to be involved in something so special.
I can see why our union with Christ is referred to as a wedding and in so many ways did this couple reflect the love of Jesus. It’s true, the joy of the Lord is their strength and as the bride entered, well, the dress was simply stunning but what made it magical was the smile that went with it. To see a friend lift up their eyes and hands in worship, no fear of anyone else, and give everything over to God, even on your wedding day. There was no doubt that this is a love brought together by God and made to last. The whole day was spectacular but it was the worship that made me cry. The sheer joy that came from worshipping, if this beautiful couple taught me anything it’s that a Christ centred love is worth waiting for.
In the address we were reminded that love is unconditional, forgiving and sacrificial, again qualities that all reflect the love of Jesus. We may not ever be able to love completely unconditionally, forgivingly and sacrificially, but He can, He has, and He does. I know my friend has already inspired so many people with her love for Christ, me included, but I can see now that her efforts were not alone. I just pray that they can continue to reflect the love of Jesus throughout their lives together. They also said in the address that actually they hope this isn’t the happiest day of their lives and I for one know there are so many more to come because it wasn’t just the most lovely wedding, it was the start of a lovely marriage.
We love because he first loved us.
I have always loved weddings and Saturday really was a glimpse of what is to come both in their own lives and marriage but above all of the best wedding there will ever be and that’s one party I cannot wait to attend 🙂