Recently my friend got married. It was an amazing wedding! Everything was planned to the finest detail. It would be impossible for me to describe everything that she did. She put such immense thought and prayer into it.
Each guest received a name card at their table with their name on it. Underneath your name stood the meaning of it as well as a Bible verse. This is only one small part of the wedding, but to give you an idea to what extent she went.
It was such a blessed wedding. The theme was “Geloof, Hoop en Liefde” in Afrikaans, which is “Faith, Hope and Love”, which is from 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” It was an inspiration for everyone that attended. God was at the center of it all. He is the foundation of their marriage. A testimony for all to see how great and mighty our God is.
This made me think about the Lord’s relationship with us. With the Church and with each person as an individual.
Let’s face it, it would be totally impossible for us to organize a wedding in one day. Firstly, no one would show up, because the invitations will arrive too late or people will already have other things to do. Then getting everything ready: the food, the decorations, the whole ceremony. And the one thing every girl dreams about… the dress. Think about waking up the morning of the wedding to go and look for a dress. Seriously. There would never be enough time to find the perfect dress. To make a decision in a rush. I don’t think it will be a lot of fun.
Now when the Lord Jesus comes back on the clouds the Bible tells us there is going to be a wedding.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.” – Revelation 19:6-9 (emphasis added)
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. – Revelation 21:2
If we don’t prepare properly for the wedding, we won’t be prepared. That is quite obvious, but think about it for a moment. Do you spend time with the Lord? Do you buy oil from the King of kings to keep your lamp burning? Are you waiting for the Bride to come?
Jesus tells the parable about the Ten Virgins who waited for the bride to come. There were five foolish and five wise virgins. (Read Matthew 25:1-13). The five wise virgins kept oil in their lamps and they had enough while waiting for the bridegroom to arrive to keep their lamps burning. They were prepared. They probably always kept some spare oil while they eagerly waited. No one knew the exact time that the bridegroom would arrive, but they knew he was coming. The five foolish virgins didn’t have enough oil while waiting. First they wanted to borrow some oil from the wise virgins, but they told them to go and buy themselves more oil. While they went to buy more oil the bridegroom arrived. The foolish virgins weren’t allowed to enter into the wedding banquet. They weren’t prepared and for that they were denied the presence of the bridegroom and the enjoyment of the wedding banquet.
This is a parable that encourages me to have enough oil in my lamp to keep it burning until the Lord comes. That I may be invited to enjoy the wedding banquet and spend eternity with God.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. – Psalm 18:28
God keeps my lamp burning… He is the oil I need.