Tuesday, March 16, 2010


How did your husband propose to you?  We all have our cherished stories of when and how he popped the big question.  I just love weddings, they are filled with great anticipation.  Weddings are so pink and fresh and full of hope and expectation, like the season of spring.  The couple has a clean slate, dreamy ideas about being married, and embarking together on a brand new chapter in life where you go from being two to becoming one.  I personally did not have a wedding with all the bells and whistles but I have been the maid of honor and have journeyed with the bride all the way to the church.  So much preparation the bride goes through.  Her head is swimming with thoughts of flowers and color choices, caterers and what season to be married, styles of dresses and guest lists, and so on and so on.  The groom, lets see, he needs a tux.  Oh, and he needs to listen to his bethothed as she unfolds her Cinderella wedding dream to him.  My nephew is getting married in the fall.  I had a chance to spend an evening with his beautiful fiance' and after she unpacked all the details of the big day I talked with her about the days after the ceremony.  It was a great conversation, but that is another blog entry.
Today I wanted to share what I learned in my quiet time.   In reading through the gospels of The Last Supper I was surprised to know that in Jesus' time, grooms where the ones to do the bulk of the preparations.  From Luke 22:20, "He also took the cup after supper, saying, "This cup is the new covenant..."  From Ray Vander Laan's That the World May Know video series, he explains that engagement and marriage feasts during Christ's time contained references to a 'new covenant'.  In engagement ceremonies of this time, after the bride price has been negotiated by both sets of parents, a cup of wine is poured for the son.  The son then offers the cup to his bride-to-be and asks her to accept his 'new covenant' represented in the marriage agreement terms.  Drinking from the cup symbolized the bride's formal acceptance of the marriage proposal and all the good and bad circumstances that come with marriage.  According to Vander Laan, when Christ mentions 'a new covenant' during this Passover occasion, the disciples most likely associated these three words with the wedding customs of the times.  Through the illustration of a man's love and devotion for his bride, they gained at least a nebulous comprehension of Christ's unswerving love and devotion for them and for all who follow Him. 
Jesus uses verbiage from the betrothal ceremony to paint a picture for us, yes all of us, (not just the disciples) that we are his bride.  This new covenant is for us.  After the groom offers the cup to his bride and she accepts the cup, he says he will go and prepare a place for her; the groom uses the words Jesus said to the disciples in the garden (John 14:3).  The groom prepares a place for his bride by adding additional rooms onto his father's house.  This betrothal time could last up to a year.  When the father feels the home is ready, he sends his son to go get his bride.  The wedding party proceeds to the home of the bride.  When the 'best man' announces their arrival, the bride dresses for her wedding and runs to meet her groom.  Using the marriage picture to depict what is happening at Chrit's leaving; he is readying heaven for his betrothed.  He leaves to prepare a place for us where we will blissfully live forever.
Did you know any of this???  I was enthralled to discover the representation of the new covenant as being his bride.  Covenants cannot be broken; they are timeless.  It makes me want to take on the character of a pure bride; lovely, glowing, a sparkle in her eye, rosy cheeks, and a love-flutter in her heart.  How dear and precious we are to our groom!  Have you accepted the cup?  I pray you will be overcome with this new covenant dear one.  If you feel unloved, unwanted, insecure about being needed, or empty inside please take to heart your betrothal to Christ.  If you are having these kind of feelings or emotions please let me know so I can pray for you.  Really and truly I want you to know that you are the apple of His eye!  Nothing could be sweeter! 
Blessings, E.W.

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