Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Bride of Christ

The church is called to be the bride of Christ. This is a most uncomfortable topic for me. I remember when I was a new convert in college, our Christian fellowship leader, a grown married man, announced that he spent his vacation thinking about being the bride of Christ. "This is Weird," I thought to myself. Yet the Bible really does say that we, the church collective, are being prepared as a bride to receive Christ as our husband. When Jesus returns one of the first things on the agenda is our marriage feast. Of course this is all symbolic, its not like some huge Roman orgy, but it is still WEIRD.

Thinking back about the chief end of man, I'd say another great answer is: Our chief end is to be the bride of Christ. It is in this role we will glorify God and enjoy him forever. This brings a new element of intimacy into our eternal destiny. One observation that eases my discomfort with role of Christ's bride, is that while spiritual women do show an attractive feminine side (which Madonna and Britney cannot compete with) spiritual men do not become feminized. As I have become more intimate with God, I have become more the man He created me to be.

This relates back to the fullness of Christ. It is intimacy which leads to maturity. When I was young, the media and my social group hinted that devout Christians were like a hoard of slow moving, unthinking zombies. Now I have been in some churches that seemed like that; but an intimate relationship with God is radically different. I can testify that God is constantly challenging and surprising me. I have experienced his gentleness while I am weak, and his patience while I am foolish. Many times I have been rejected, many times I have gone the wrong way. But my Father in heaven never leaves or forsakes me. Notice how I unconsciously switch over to Father symbols. Many writers have explored God as our Father; but how many have written about Jesus, our lover? I'd like to understand this better, because it is both true and important, yet I hesitate. Maybe we men need women to enlighten us on this mystery.


Vinnie said...

Collective bride with unary husband (Christ). Is the marriage to be consumated thru the Spirit? If so what then doth issue from this joining of the two? Yes I must agree that the concept of bride is most dubious or odd. I wonder about the corpus collosum as it impregnates (induces con-nection between) the right and left halves of our human vehicle of conscious awareness. Bride/husband -- it is a most uncomfortable concept to me. I wonder how BIlly Grahamn explained it. How about the current Pope ? I wonder how an atheistic celibate or atheistic satanist (who actu-ally does not believe in Satan oddly enough). Speaking of Satan - is Satan trying to break up the wedding party?

And what is our relationship with Jesus in heaven? Can we nicely ask Jesus to please show an eternity of forgiveness (7 * 7,000,000,000,000,000,000) for lets say a spouse who did not understand and therefore did not really believe in God and there-fore is now being tortured for gillions and gillions of minutes and seconds and eons? Is that something a married couple (the bride and he groom, Christ and
the church could celebrate?

Have compasssion.
Be compassionate. Always.