Tomorrow is my eldest son’s wedding! Of course, when you are reading this editorial then it will be an event of the past.  But at the time of writing this text everything in my mind and in my house revolves around this event!
This big step in the life of my son alone is exciting, and I am going to marry him! But that my entire family is coming over from Germany to this family reunion: it is simply too much happiness for one day and for one heart.
Weddings are wonderful! For what is better than to celebrate love!  No wonder that the wedding serves as an important imagery in the Bible believing in a God who is love.  Admittedly, Jesus himself is very critical of our natural relationships; he encourages his followers to leave their families, he even uses the word “hate” in this context: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26)
Consequently, Jesus never got married and when he speaks of his relatives, he does not mean the ones given by nature. “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35).
Nevertheless, at the most prominent passage about the new heaven and the new earth the Bible employs the imagery of a bride and a groom: “Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4  And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” (Revelation 21:1-5a)
When you want to experience heaven on earth then look at a bride and a groom. For they mirror as “a great mystery” the relationship between Christ and his church (Ephesians 5:32).
To understand the full meaning of this imagery it is important to be aware that weddings were different in the time of the New Testament.  Bride and groom would not have lived together before the wedding, sometimes they would not even have really seen each other, at least not in the way how God has created them. Imagine the excitement, but also perhaps a bit of fear when you see the one with whom you are going to live together for
the first time. The wedding marked a big change in a life of a person. It was really a start into a new life. u Rev
u We still can find traces of that in our own wedding traditions.  A bridal veil for example is still often used although only as a decorative accessory. Traditionally, it disguised the face of the bride because her husband wasn’t supposed to see his wife until they have entered into the bond of marriage. How exciting must have been the moment of unveiling the bride!
A wedding also still carries the meaning of a new beginning. The white colour of the bridal gown symbolises innocence as a new start with a blank slate. The whole life before the wedding is then understood as just a preparation for the true life that starts with that day.
When we look forward to Jesus’ coming again, then we resemble a bride in biblical  times: we do not know how it will be and even who he will be when the veil of our  sinful condition is lifted and when we for the first time can truly see our Lord. Then, as it is prophesied we will start again leaving our corrupt lives behind us with souls white as snow:
‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. (Isaiah 1:14)
As followers of Jesus, we should live like a bride in excited anticipation of her husband. And then we will also see again all our loved ones that we have missed for a long time.  How exciting the thought: to live each day as if tomorrow is the day when you marry God’s son.