God’s Thoughts to me
Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. ( Rev. 3 : 20 , NKJV )
Having always been the incurable romantic at heart, as I am sure most women are, I have forever been fascinated by weddings and the beautiful mystery of the love between a man and a woman. Everything that pertains to the wedding ceremony like the bride’s dress, her entourage, the wedding vows, the reception etc. has an ethereal quality that totally captures my heart.
I have been married to my teenage sweetheart for 27 years and I have to admit that an intimate marriage relationship is still an enigma to me. Who can explain that tender look of love and admiration in the groom’s eyes when he looks at his bride or that shy, subtle look of invitation when she glances at her groom from underneath her eyelashes ! Breathtakingly beautiful and mysterious ! Even though real life awaits every newly-wed couple, that mysterious, strong bond of love makes them one and hopefully will carry them through all the storms of life. Someone once told me that marriage involves three rings : the engagement ring, then the wedding ring and then the suffer-ring ! It comes as no surprise to me that I am absolutely fascinated by the fact that our Lord Jesus calls His Church His Bride.
Fibro/Cfs has the nasty habit to often force us to take ” extended compulsory sick leave” with lots of leisure time on our hands being in the on-the-couch mode. When I am in that mode, I love to spend the time researching the ancient Hebrew and Jewish culture and traditions. It was only when I started to understand the Hebrew tradition of the marriage ceremony that I truly could appreciate the metaphor our Pappa God used in Revelation 3 : 20.
According to their tradition once the prospective bridegroom had made up his mind about who the future wife would be, he and his father would pay the lady a visit at her home.They would take a pouch containing a betrothal cup, wine and an estimated bride price. On arrival they would knock on the door. The girl’s father would first peek through a small window in the door to identify the visitors. He would never open the door without his daughter’s consent and confirmation to welcome them in. Unwelcome suitors had to make a u-turn and go back home, tail between the legs. On the other hand, if she allowed them in she gave them, for all practical reasons, permission to start with the betrothal process and the marriage arrangements. This was quite a binding commitment on the part of the groom. Only the bride could at any moment stop the proceedings without even having to give a reason for her decision to cancel.
To me it paints such a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Bridegroom knocking on the door of out hearts. He will never use force to win our love and affection. With my stubborness and being as deaf as a doorknob, I sometimes wish that He has broken down my heart’s door long ago. But, no , that is not how our Lord operates. He is the perfect gentleman. It is only if we hear His voice and willingly allow Him to enter, that He will come in and ask for our hand in marriage. If we accept, He offers us His covenant of betrothal, the Ketubah which He has already prepared beforehand. The Ketubah is a beautifully written wedding contract ( like the picture above) including a bride price to compensate the future in-laws for the girl’s upbringing and also as a token of his great love for her. The choice to accept our Lord’s marriage proposal lies completely in our hands.
The reason for the betrothal cup and wine is beautiful beyond words and never ceases to grip my heart in speechless wonder. Just to imagine the lengths our Lord has gone through to win our hearts ! In the ancient tradition, the groom would, after the negotiations had been completed and they had shared a meal, pour the wine in the cup. He would take the first sip and then offered the cup to his sweetheart. Accepting the cup and drinking the wine were her signs of acceptance of his hand in marriage. That was the moment when she would utter the YES word ! They were then officially betrothed.
Following that magic moment, the groom would then give his bride beautiful gifts and then left to prepare a home for her as an addition to his Father’s house. It reminds me of Abraham’s servant giving gifts to Rebekah after she has accepted his proposal to marry Isaac. It humbles me to think of our Lord Jesus giving us those costly gifts of His Eternal Life, forgiveness, acceptance and unconditional love. Actually, He gives us all of Himself ! The bride on the other hand started with all the titivating to make herself beautiful for her beloved and to make sure that their big day would be the best day of their lives. Jewish marriage celebrations actually last for a week. It is soooooo romantic !
I admit that after I allowed our Lord to enter my heart, my titivating consisted of an endless scurrying to prevent our Lord from having second thoughts about His proposal and calling the whole marriage thing off. Foolish ? For sure, I truly was !
I will be forever grateful that our Lord brought all my ” good efforts ” to an end when He gave me the gift of Fibro. It forced me out of my trying-to-be-good mode into simply accepting out Lord’s Hand in marriage. All His gifts are free without any strings attached. I can picture in my mind’s eye how our Heavenly Bridegroom is offering me the betrothal cup filled with His Blood, His Life and His Kisses ! He offers us His Ketubah and has already paid the bride price on the cross with His Life. It brings to mind the beautiful Scripture : ” My Beloved is mine, and I am His. ” ( Song of Songs 2 : 16, NKJV )
It fills my heart with so much joy every time I drink of the cup at communion knowing that by this simple act, I confirm my acceptance of His marriage proposal, of His Love and His Life. A dear Christian lady once said : ” His Kiss is in the Cup. ”
I hope our Lord will fill us all with a new appreciation, understanding and wonder every time we drink from our Lord’s betrothal cup which He offers us at communion.
Thanks for allowing me to share something so beautiful with you.
Hugs and blessings