Friday, June 29, 2018

my wedding plans

I printed out a wedding photo of Prince Harry and Meg, and two photos of my parents on their wedding day. I took all three photos into LoWu Prison. 

 The big story hasn’t changed. God is love and He wants a lover, so He made us.

Natural history, it ends in a wedding. The Father knew His Son wanted a bride, so He made me. And He made you. It’s not made up, and although I am romantic and dramatic, I’m actually not exaggerating anything here. It’s impossible to exaggerate His romantic love-drenched intentions. Jesus will have a wedding. And people from every tribe, every tongue, every nation will be there, dressed in white and mesmerized by the beauty of the Lamb they’re marrying. This desire God has for a bride, it's the point of life. 

The ladies in LoWu Prison, my friends who live in trash in India, the African sisters I live with, my Chinese neighbors, you, me, all of us; Jesus is wanting to be with us forever, in love. He's lovesick. 

An engaged couple; they're not likely to forget about their upcoming wedding. Words like "longing, passion, thrill" describe feelings happening inside an in-love couple. These are the feelings Jesus is filled with! Longing started with Him! He invented passion! Thrill is what He feels as He thinks about forever with His bride! And these are the kinds of things He wants to pour into our relationship with Him. 

Did you know you can read Song of Solomon in the context of Jesus as the Bridegroom and you as the beloved? You can. Mike Bickel said so.* And that makes reading Song of Solomon kind of amazing exciting. 

Like I told my friends in LoWu, Jesus doesn't just think we're beautiful when we're behaving ourselves and feeling holy. He sees the mess we are, and right in the middle of it, in the struggle and immaturity and confusion, He keeps singing, "You're beautiful, My darling."* His lovesickness for us doesn't change. 

A couple days ago I was mad at someone, feeling sorry for myself, had a bad attitude, and then got piled up with guilt and blame against myself for all of the above. I laid down for a few minutes outside under a tree, and turned my attention to God. I asked Him what He had to say about my current condition. His response? He still saw me as beautiful. He didn't say my attitude was ok or praise my unrighteous anger, but He let me know the beauty He sees in me goes much deeper than my moods. Even when I'm immature and disappointing myself, He still wants to marry me.  

The ladies in prison hooped and hollered several times throughout the message. Romantic talk is fun for a roomful of women. I think the photo of my parents kissing was their favorite. 

I told them to say aloud, "I am the bride God chose and I am beautiful." Those ladies, in their brown plaid prison uniforms, said it loud, like they meant it. 

We're the bride and the Groom is looking at us right now, singing, "You're beautiful."

My wedding plans are like this; talk to the Groom, look at the Groom, sing to the Groom, love the Groom. Then I'll die and meet the Groom face-to-face. It's a good plan. 

This wedding is true and it's coming. You're invited. 

Let us rejoice and exalt Him and give Him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come. And His bride has made herself ready.
-Revelation 19:7

* Mike Bickle has some great teachings about the Wedding 
*"You are altogether beautiful, My darling."
 Song of Solomon 4:7