When I read the book of Revelation, my most consistent thought is, “What in the world is going on here?!”
Clearly, I’m not the only one. All of the apocalyptic language and imagery has resulted in a wide variety of interpretations as to exactly what John was referring to when he penned the revelation he received. But here in the middle of today’s reading we have an image that most of us can relate to in some capacity – a marriage ceremony.
The theme of marriage is one that runs throughout the entirety of Scripture. Scripture opens with a wedding ceremony in the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:18-25). In the Old Testament, the constant failures of God’s people often results in them being equated to an unfaithful spouse. In the New Testament, the church that Jesus instituted is referred to as his bride (Eph. 5:22-33). And here in the concluding pages of the Bible is the promise that God will bring all of history to a close by uniting Jesus and his bride for all of eternity (Rev. 19:6-10).
For all the confusion and questions that often come along with the book of Revelation, there is one thing that is sure: Jesus loves his church, and one day he will come again to receive his bride unto himself. I don’t know when that will be (nor do any of the “interpreters” of Revelation that think they’ve nailed down the date), but I do know that we’re closer in this moment than we’ve ever been before.
Until then, may we be found as a bride ready and waiting for her groom.