This past weekend my wife and I decided to check out High Hampton Resort near Cashiers, NC. By checkout I mean drive through because my current budget doesn’t meet the standard for an overnight stay. Somehow we drove right in and happened upon a wedding procession moving slowly across the beautifully manicured lawn. The resort is surrounded by mountains so you can imagine the picturesque scene. Proceeding the bride and groom was a guy in a kilt playing bagpipes. A quick glimpse of the bride and groom told me they were full of joy.
I have been thinking a lot about the state of the church lately and so my mind went to the imagery in Scripture of the church as the bride of Christ. The symbolism is that of the bridegroom who loves and sacrifices for His bride. The apostle Paul said, “. . . Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27, NKJV). There is more in Scripture that points to this imagery but the culmination is found in the book of Revelation where John describes the return of Christ for His bride, the church (Rev. 19:7-9; 21:1-2).
Christ’s love for the church means a complete and total union with His followers for all of eternity. Wow.
As you can see, this truth has an immense number of implications and lessons for the believer. Right now I am dwelling on just one thought. Shouldn’t we avoid criticizing the church and instead, work to strengthen and build up that which Christ loves and so highly values?
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