Have you ever been to a wedding? Of course you have, we’re all normal, non-weirdos here…right? 😉 So, at these weddings, what is your favorite part? The beautiful scenery? The free food? Maybe the open bar? If you’re a parent, it’s quite possibly getting a break from your lovely, but needy kids? I too love all of those things, but my favorite part is watching the bride walk down the aisle while sneaking a peak at the groom. It gets me every time! The groom almost always has this indescribable look on his face that makes my heart swell. His eyes are wide, taking in her radiant beauty. Usually, although he doesn’t want us to know it, he’s trying to hold back the tears. Ladies, are you with me when I say there’s just something about a strong man crying that melts us? He can’t take his eyes off of her as she walks down the aisle. His love is so obvious it’s almost as if we could touch it…and we all long for that kind of palpable and overwhelming kind of love.
This past weekend at our church, I had the opportunity to serve communion to our church body. If you’re not familiar with this, it’s a sacrament in the protestant church. Basically that means it’s one of the ways Jesus gave us to experience Him. Churches do this in many different ways. Our church (Christ Church) has a loaf of bread that the servers break a piece off of and place in your hand. This piece of bread represents Jesus’ physical body that was broken for each person that believes in Him. Next, you dip that bread in a cup that represents Jesus’ blood that was poured out for each person that believes in Him. Finally, you consume that soaked piece of bread. (You can find this in several places in the Bible. One of them is in Luke 22:19-20.)
So, I’m standing there with the bread (the representation of Jesus’ body), and there is a line of people walking up to me with open hands, waiting to receive the piece of bread. I was doing my job well at first, tearing off a chunk of bread and telling them “This is the body, broken for you, insert-name-here.” I’m pretty sure I was rocking it…until I wasn’t. All of a sudden it was too much for me. I turned into a blubbering mess, and it sounded more like, “Dis is da body, ((snub)) dat was ((sniffle)) broken for ((stifle sob)) you.” At that point names were totally not happening. I was just focusing on the basics here people! I was a mess! Seriously, at one point one of the super sweet young women in our church stopped and gave me a hug before I could get the bread to her. (Love her!)
What got me all messed up over some bread? I’m glad you asked! 🙂 For that moment in time, God gave me a glimpse of His view. I was standing in the “groom’s” spot, up at the front of the church, just like in a wedding. The line of people were in the “bride’s” wedding position, walking up the aisle to me, looking at me expectantly, with their hands open to receive. (In the Bible, the intimate relationship between Jesus and his people (the church) is described many times as a groom and bride. I like the way the end of Isaiah 62:5 puts it, “…Then God will rejoice over you [his followers] as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride.”) There I was, tearing and giving, tearing and giving, tearing and giving…over and over and over. As I looked at all the open hands…different sizes, different colors, some with wrinkles, some with scars, some that I knew parts of their struggles, and some that I knew some of their joys…it was too much for me. I was able to get a glimpse, for just a moment, of how vast God’s love for you and I is. The only possible response was to weep. I wept because it was so overwhelming, so beautiful, and almost unfathomable.
Just as the groom at his wedding only has eyes for his bride walking down the aisle, our God does the same with us each day that we live on this Earth. Each day that we choose to believe His truth, accept His love and forgiveness, and take steps towards Him we are choosing to be apart of that look, that intimate gaze between bride and groom. In that look God’s love is palpable. It is overwhelming and all-consuming, so that none of our past mistakes matter, and none of our fears about the future are relevant.
Have you experienced that look? That love? Are you walking towards Him now?
Praying that right now you take a step towards Him and the unfathomable love that He offers,
“Even So Come,”originally by Chris Tomlin, but redone by Tommee Profitt & Brooke Griffith“Even So Come”
“How He Loves” done by David Crowder Band. I recommend not watching the video on this one, but closing your eyes and letting the words sink in. Enjoy! “How He Loves”
Read:1 John 2:28-29, 1 John 4:17-21