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Week 1 June 2023, Devotion Part 1

Come, I will show you the bride… Revelation 21:9

This invitation alludes to the truest match ever made in heaven. It refers to the ultimate “church wedding” with a price tag totally out of any earthly father’s reach. Perfection never comes cheap. In fact, perfect mates and perfect marriages have yet to be invented. But the perfect wedding can be staged. In the process the bride may turn into a monster – Bridezilla is the term – or a nervous wreck, but such minor glitches will be airbrushed out of the perfect wedding memories. Shimmering satin outlasts simmering tensions. Show me the perfect dress and I will show you the perfect bride!

Ours is an image-driven culture and the Book of Revelation is packed with images. Even so, it will not be consulted by a wedding coordinator any time soon. In chapter 19 the Bridegroom wears a robe dipped in blood. His beloved wears “fine linen, bright and pure.” We think beach wedding, but the next line reads, “...for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” In chapter 21 the author is given a look at “the Bride,” whom an angel also designates as “the wife of the Lamb.” It turns out to be a fairy tale city floating down from heaven. Spiritually “coordinated” faith finds no fault with such wild wedding visions, but it might help to consult the down-to-earth Apostle Paul. (Part 1 of 2)

Comment: If I were a cheeky kid in class, I’d raise my hand to interrupt the Bible teacher with a crazy question: “Who decides what a perfect dress should look like?” Theology, not fashion is on her mind, but the kid starts rambling about some celebrity bride pictured in a trendy dress made of faded denim with holes in it. Did that kid read a devotion I wrote on Joel 2:13, And rend your hearts and not your garments? It was a follow-up to one on Psalm 29:2, “…worship the LORD in holy array.”

“What lunatic in the fashion world decided to mock the hard-working poor by elevating torn jeans and ripped tops to the rarefied heights of multimillion-dollar sophistication? Has an obsession with “shabby chic” led to our culture’s holey array? Would it take another disarrayed mind to conclude that this pleases God because He is into crowd pleasing? A major spiritual awakening was certainly on the minor prophet Joel’s heart, but in his old-fashioned world ripped clothes spoke their own distinct language. When the crafty sons of Jacob returned to him their hated brother’s bloodied robe, they said, “Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.” His father promptly tore his robe. Told of King Saul’s death, “David took hold of his clothes, and rent them; and so did all the men who were with him.” The Old Testament is strewn with torn clothes and warnings to mend ways, yet the few references to sewing do not relate to repair. Despair tore at Job when he said to his needling friends, ‘I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin.’”


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