The Bride of Christ
This Sunday, we’re having a family conversation about sexual intimacy. It’s part of a brief series I’m doing entitled “Christ’s Bride Comes Home.” I wrote about this in a recent column which you can find here.
When I started reading through Matthew 19-23, I was reminded that I’ve never preached a series of messages on the church as the bride of Christ. I’ve wanted to; I like the image. We usually think of ourselves as rocks, or a body, or a vine, or branches. But what if we talked about household living as if we’re already married to Jesus? Because we are.
The marriage metaphor is so powerful in scripture. From Genesis 2, when God creates Adam and Eve, he’s forming a covenant, or an agreement, with his creation. In Hosea, the violation of the marriage covenant is a direct reflection of the Israelites’ relationship with God. In Ezekiel, God feels like he’s been treated like an abandoned spouse. So it’s no wonder that Jesus and the writer of Revelation wanted to rehabilitate this image. They took the sense of being in covenant with God and asked the question, “What would a bride—wounded, scarred, and reborn—look like?” The answer was the church. When we commit to Christ and are baptized, most of us even wear a makeshift wedding dress—a baptismal robe—to show our new identity.
I’m excited to dive into these issues with you on Sunday. I hope you’ll come prayerfully and ready to take a lot of notes. I’m preaching a little longer than usual. After the 11:15 service, I’ll have a Q & A time for anyone who wants to hang around.
Please remember that children and anyone else who wants to volunteer will worship in the Quad during both worship hours. Many thanks to Rhonda Smith, Zach Allen, and friends for making this possible. Let’s get ready for the rehearsal. See you Sunday.