My husband officiated many weddings in his calling as a Pastor. Many times I helped with the music, stand by to help and watch—and pray. After weeks of premarital counseling, the stage would be set for the wedding ceremony. The night before the big event, a rehearsal would take place. The rehearsal was always the most interesting as Randy would tell nervous attendants where to stand and what their role was in the wedding party.
Randy actually enjoyed working with the kids who were trusted to throw flower petals or carry a pillow with fake rings. He worked to make them feel at ease and made it fun for them. In one memorable wedding, twin boys gave us quite a show without anyone else in the audience knowing what was going on. In the rehearsal the night before Randy told the energetic four-year-old twins to stand on their mark after coming up the aisle of the church. He put a piece of tape on the floor to indicate their “spot”. He made their spot special only to them. The twins were so proud of “their spot”. During the wedding, they obediently came up the aisle, looked for their spot and jumped on it as if a little force might nail them into place.
As the ceremony carried on, we watched as the “ring bears”, (as they called themselves), drop their pillows quite a few times. In picking up them up, they technically never left their “marked with an x spots”. One foot was always planted on the x to recover what was dropped. Over and over again the boys did amazing calisthenics and body stretching but always left one foot on the x. The marriage ceremony was completed. The bride married to her groom. That couple is still married today. Those twins now have children of their own. Yes, weddings are fun and interesting.
John the Baptizer uses the analogy of a wedding party to explain to his followers his part, his role, in the wedding of the ultimate bride and groom. He is the “best man” to the groom. John explains that he is “simply the one sent ahead of him to get things ready. The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy.” John is not jealous of Jesus. He knows his part and is humbled and honored to be the “best man” in the eternal wedding of Christ and his Bride. As believers in Christ, we are the Bride of Christ. Jesus, The Bridegroom, will come for His own and take us home to be with Him forever.
A Wedding is not Complete without Gifts, right?!
To this truth, John the Baptist testifies; “The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever!”
Isn’t this a wedding we should come to as the Bride of Christ—ready to be His forever? Yes!
John 3:22-36, MSG
22-26 After this conversation, Jesus went on with his disciples into the Judean countryside and relaxed with them there. He was also baptizing. At the same time, John was baptizing over at Aenon near Salim, where water was abundant. This was before John was thrown into jail. John’s disciples got into an argument with the establishment Jews over the nature of baptism. They came to John and said, “Rabbi, you know the one who was with you on the other side of the Jordan? The one you authorized with your witness? Well, he’s now competing with us. He’s baptizing, too, and everyone’s going to him instead of us.”
27-29 John answered, “It’s not possible for a person to succeed—I’m talking about eternal success—without heaven’s help. You yourselves were there when I made it public that I was not the Messiah but simply the one sent ahead of him to get things ready. The one who gets the bride is, by definition, the bridegroom. And the bridegroom’s friend, his ‘best man’—that’s me—in place at his side where he can hear every word, is genuinely happy. How could he be jealous when he knows that the wedding is finished and the marriage is off to a good start?
29-30 “That’s why my cup is running over. This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.
31-33 “The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth.
34-36 “The One that God sent speaks God’s words. And don’t think he rations out the Spirit in bits and pieces. The Father loves the Son extravagantly. He turned everything over to him so he could give it away—a lavish distribution of gifts. That is why whoever accepts and trusts the Son gets in on everything, life complete and forever! And that is also why the person who avoids and distrusts the Son is in the dark and doesn’t see life. All he experiences of God is darkness, and an angry darkness at that.”
Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
Thank you for loving us so much You came to save us, restore us, heal us, and make us holy to be your Bride forever. Thank you for being with us, not leaving us on our own but being accepted as one of your own to be protected, loved, valued and continually provided for in this life and in the one after with you face to face. Thank you, Lord.
In Jesus Name, Amen