Blessings of the Love Gift

Blessings of the Love Gift

— Dorothy Noel

 

I’m a young woman with cable television, and like many in my demographic, occasionally I get sucked into watching bridal TV shows. Picking out dresses and flowers, comparing styles and services is fun. There are so many choices, and as these women make decisions about how to spend their budget, or which dress will wow the best, they stress and worry and wonder if they’ll ever make it down the aisle. At the end of pretty much every show, though, there’s a wedding where a happy bride and groom look glowingly into one another’s eyes and declare the day a success. All the stress was worth it. The momentary joy allows even the most overwhelmed brides to forget the trials of the months before. Even the most difficult families seem to come together for the celebration.

As I indulged myself one evening, and a bride talked about how long she had waited for this celebration, I was reminded of the story of the empty lamps in Matthew 25. In it, the bridesmaids are waiting with lights for the groom to come. But when he is set to arrive, only half of the party has enough fuel for their torches. The other half have to go buy more and miss the party completely. They hadn’t prepared for the ceremony. While I’m sure the bride of the story missed some of her friends, she was having too much of a good time to worry about them. She had prepared, just as the bride in Revelation 19:7. All the planning was done, all the hard choices were made, and it was time to “rejoice and be glad.”

Paul points out in Ephesians 5:25-33 that human marriage is simply a reflection of Christ’s love for the church. With that in mind, and knowing that the timing of our bridegroom is uncertain, I think we could take some cues from those TV brides. There are a million details to plan for an earthly wedding; how much more should we prepare for the return of our Lord? There are people to invite, meals to prepare, clothes to purchase, flowers to tend. All these pieces have “Kingdom” equivalents. Have we invited others to join us in the church? Have we provided food and clothing for those in need? Have we cared for the earth’s gardens? Are we anxiously awaiting that moment when we finally get to see the Groom?

At the end of those TV shows, the bride and groom are satisfied simply for being married. And while our Lord’s return will usher in a time of joy for simply occurring, the preparation we do here and now can make the anticipation and excitement for that time so much sweeter.

The Women’s Society will disperse

the 2015 SDB Women’s Love Gift as follows:

• Uganda families to adopt orphans: $500

• Joel & Laura Sutton, missionaries to Haiti: $500

• Zambia TIME training: $500

• Camp facilities in Guyana: $500

• Dorotha Shettel fund: $500

• Lydia’s Home: a home for abused girls in W. Palm Beach, FL: $250

• Patty Peterson, evangelism: $250

• Food, medicine, mosquito netting (For Africa via Missionary Society): $250

• Joel & Judith Houts, missionaries to Puerto Rico: $226

• Shirley Morgan, pastor in Nicaragua: $226

• Helping Hands overseas:$226

 

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