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When the Doors Open

Have you ever seen one of those videos on YouTube that shows you how something you’ve been doing for your whole life has actually been all wrong? How you’re better off eating an apple from the bottom up instead of wrapping around the sides or how those little ketchup cups are meant to fan out for easier access? Who knew? Well I’m going to give you a little wedding tip.

There’s that moment at a wedding when the groom and his groomsmen have entered the church. The bridesmaids have walked the aisle and taken their places at the front. The ring bearers and flower girls are in their places. The doors at the back are closed. Then those doors burst open and there is the bride standing arm-in-arm with her father.

Now here’s the tip: When those doors open, steal a quick glance at the groom. I know the bride is the star of the show and you don’t want to miss her, but it’s okay to look to the front of the church for just a moment. The more I read and understand Ephesians 5:22-33 and the more I come to grasp the deepest meaning of marriage, the more I find myself not wanting to miss what happens at the front of the room. Because in that moment the groom is just a small picture, a dim reflection, of the love Jesus Christ has for his bride, the church.

There is nothing quite like the expression on a groom’s face when his bride appears before him. There is joy there. There is delight and desire and such love. There is the knowledge that his longing for a bride is being fulfilled and that she will soon be his, that in just moments they will be united together forever.

Yesterday we were able to witness the marriage of two dear friends. They served us well in drawing our hearts and minds to the ultimate marriage their union is meant to represent and they did this in part by choosing The City Harmonic’s song “Holy (Wedding Day)” as the processional music. As Caroline entered, and as Steve looked at her for the first time that day, it was to the words,

This is the story of the Son of God hanging on a cross for me,
But it ends with a bride and groom and a wedding by a glassy sea.
This is the story of a bride in white singing on her wedding day;
Altogether all that was and is, can stand before her God and sing.
‘Holy, holy, holy, holy is the Lord.’

From the very first moment, the ceremony pointed beyond itself and so too did the bride and groom. When the doors opened I looked to the front of the room and in the face of my friend I saw again a glimpse of the love Jesus Christ has for me, for us, for his church. I’m so glad I didn’t miss it.