Have you ever thought of how every Lord’s Day is like a wedding rehearsal?
For the church knows where our faith as the bride of Christ is leading us. We are headed toward the great wedding feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19:9). As such, we are to "make ourselves ready" (Rev. 19:7) and be "prepared as a bride adorned for her husband" (Rev. 21:2). As we worship as His bride on the Lord's Day, we should view this as readying ourselves for the wondrous wedding that will take place on that glorious day.
As we come to worship our God, the Spirit of God is using the means of grace to prepare us for that experience. Thus, an actual duty of the pastor is to get his people heaven-ready to spend eternity with the Triune God. In the words of the church father Gregory of Nazianzus, the minister of the gospel is to “to provide the soul with wings” to fly in a sense toward heaven. He said that the pastor should seek to “bestow heavenly bliss upon the one who belongs to the heavenly host.” Each Lord's Day is preparation for the coming Day of the Lord, the consummation of our relationship with Him.
I attended two weddings this past summer. One was the marriage of my son, Spencer, and the other wedding was that of a good friend and RPTS student, Martin. My wife and I had the pleasure of attending both of the wedding rehearsals as well. Those evenings the joy was great as we gave thanks for the gift of marriage and anticipated the wedding that would take place the next day. Just yesterday, which was the Lord's Day as I write these words, both couples were in our home and the love for and joy in one another was evident. The Lord's Day is to have that type of joy and gratitude. We know that the Lord will come for His bride and unite us with Him eternally! So we are to be ready for Him; indeed, readying ourselves for Him as we come together each week as His bride.
We are also to be humbly grateful as we do. I know Spencer, I know Martin, and I know myself. One thing that I can say about each one of us with respect to our wives is that we "married up." Our respective brides of Lauren, Melanie, and Miriam outshine us and surpass greatly what we deserve. After all, "the woman is the glory of man" as 1 Corinthians 11:7 tells us. Now, think of the Lord. He "married down!" Our perfect Lord and Savior gave His life at Calvary not for beautiful people but for ugly sinners. Every Lord's Day we should wonder at His grace that beautifies the likes of us. What an amazing grace that did save a wretch like me.
So as the next Lord's Day approaches, get yourself ready. Through faith, eagerly accept the invitation to the wedding feast of the Lamb. Attend gratefully the rehearsal for it as your church worships. Clothe yourself in the holiness that your Bridegroom has provided. For He is coming for us, and it will not be long!