Sunday, May 20, 2012

Wedding Preparations

Years ago I found a Bible study, prayer guide for the ten days between the Ascension of Jesus and Pentecost. The disciples were in intense prayer for those ten days and this guide suggested the same for modern day Christians. I'd say at least for sixteen years I have been praying for revival of the Church universal with different prompts.
One I'm reading this year is Asleep in the Land of Nod. God banished Cain to the land of Nod after he killed his brother. Nod in Hebrew means wandering. It is also interesting in our language, it is a movement of the head, often times when a person is falling asleep. For me, this may often look more like whiplash in a lecture. But is the Church asleep? Many say so.
In this devotional, one day, the analogy of the Church being the Bride is used. The author, David Butt, has a vision, but the Bride is not at the altar. She is too busy doing pre-wedding chores. Is she thinking about the marriage?
I have often said today it seems the brides plan a wedding, but not a marriage. I may be a little rough there, but I wonder at all the fanciness and the high divorce rate. It seems easy to get caught up in "my day." 
I was nine days away from my wedding thirty years ago. My time was spent studying as I was also finishing up nursing school. And much frolicking with my classmates and my high school friends. I kept the planning as simple as possible. I had my wedding dress made, having fun with a lady from church, driving over to a big Joanne Fabrics in Liberty Township in January. We looked over patterns and picked out material. Being with an older lady, who had been my Sunday School teacher, also prepared me for marriage with her wisdom and common sense.
My mother's garden club made all my flower arrangements. Two of the ladies shopped with me at the old Valley View for the silk flowers. The club brought pot luck and made the bouquets and boutonnieres on our dining room table. My mother, in a wheelchair, then, was able to participate. Again, I was surrounded by older women with advice. I listened.
Grandma Evans, angry at my leaving my poor sick mother, forgot my twenty first birthday. I knew though if I gave up my plans for the future, my mother would give up living. She lived for twenty six years after our wedding. Grandma did come to my wedding.
I planned my day, but all I could think about was my life with David. Being a housekeeper, participating in fun activities and anticipating life in Connecticut with my future husband. And with my plans being simple, I enjoyed the last days with my friends and my family. I do not remember being stressed. I think Myltreda Truby was, as she had to arrange the wedding dinner with my open invitations. Maybe that was selfish. I didn't want to exclude anyone. Four hundred people signed the guest book.  A judge, a doctor, several ministers and David's old girlfriend  were some of the surprises.
All this to say besides writing this for my enjoyment of memory lane, is the Church needs to not be busy with activities, but preparing for the Bridegroom to return. She needs to enjoy her life, but also look forward to life in Heaven, the wedding feast. As David had to return from Connecticut to take me away to our home, so Jesus is returning for His Bride to take her home. How ready are you? Wake up and make sure you are ready for the Bridegroom.
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