I have been thinking alot lately about what it means to be the Bride of Christ, both as an individual and as part of the Body of Christ. We are the Bride for our Eternal Bride Groom, our precious Lord Jesus Christ. It is only thru His sacrifice that we are made spotless and beautiful in His sight.
We are His in His eternal Kingdom, both here and now and in eternity. In the present, Communion is an act in which we literally take the Lord into our bodies. In doing so, we become one flesh with Him. This is the beginning of our eternal union with Him.
Union with God, or eternal separation from Him, is the ultimate end of all reality. Union with God, or eternal separation from Him, is the final destiny of every human being.
As the Bride of Christ, it is our role to receive His love, freely given, and give Him all of our love in return. This reciprocal love is the essence of our eternal union with Him. This reciprocal love is what existed between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit before time began and the foundations of the Earth were laid. This is love beyond human comprehension and we are being invited to participate. This is love and union so all encompassing that human sexuality within the bonds of marriage is only the palest foreshadowing of what He has prepared for us, His Bride.
One of my favorite poems, by John Donne, speaks of this union in far better words than I could muster.
BATTER my heart, three person'd God; for, you
As yet but knocke, breathe, shine, and seeke to mend;
That I may rise, and stand, o'erthrow mee,'and bend
Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new.
I, like an usurpt towne, to'another due,
Labour to'admit you, but Oh, to no end,
Reason your viceroy in mee, mee should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weake or untrue.
Yet dearely'I love you,'and would be loved faine,
But am betroth'd unto your enemie:
Divorce mee,'untie, or breake that knot againe;
Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
Except you'enthrall mee, never shall be free,
Nor ever chast, except you ravish mee.
There is no greater love than the love of God, no greater passion within the grasp of a human being than the passion that only He can stir in us. We are helpless to initiate this love. We can only, thru our free will, choose to receive Him or to reject Him. He offers union beyond our wildest ability to imagine.
Our God is a God of mystery and paradox. Truly, we shall never be free unless we allow ourselves to become enthralled and imprisioned by the embrace of the Lord. We shall never be pure and chaste until we stand face to face with Him, ravished by His love for all eternity. He created us so that we would never be satisfied with anything but union with Him.
The courtship, leading to eternal marriage, can begin now, if you allow it to. Your relationship with Him can be growing closer every day until it is finally consummated in the eternal union that He has promised. He is coming back for His Bride one day. Are you willing to receive Him?