Have you heard? There's a wedding on. Tomorrow morning, Meghan Markle will walk down the aisle to become Prince Harry's wife. A 'commoner' becomes a princess. An American becomes a Royal.
The world is captured by the story of a royal wedding. Every detail is being scrutinized. So beautiful. So special. Such a testament to the best of humanity. All for only thirty-three million dollars or so!
But did you ever think about this? Marriage between a man and a woman is something God created and ordained, and every marriage is a dim reflection of the one true marriage in God's salvation history--the marriage between a fallen humanity and a holy God made possible in Jesus Christ.
'"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. ' Ephesians 5:31-32
Harry loves Meghan and Meghan becomes royal. Meghan loves Harry and Harry becomes more of the man he was meant to be. Did you know that God loves you so much, he sent his son Jesus into the world for you to make a type of union possible that makes you much more than you are on your own? A relationship that names you a child of God, a royal in the household of God?
Weddings are dim reflections of God's love for us. In particular, we talk about Christ's love for the Church. One name for the church is "the Bride of Christ." Last week I was privileged to travel around Peru with Compassion International to visit sites where the world's most vulnerable children are being released from the chains of dehumanizing poverty. Here's a site we visited where Menlo Church and its pastor John Ortberg are planting a church to host a Compassion site.
John Ortberg is on the right. Jimmy Mellado is in the hat (a gift that day). Then you see in the white shirt the planting pastor with his wife and daughter. His church is just hot dust and sand, but as it was going up around us brick by brick, we prayed for him. We walked the walls and prayed. We prayed for all the people who will come and be reached with a message of God's love for them, their inherent value as children of God, the possibilities before them of a life lived fully and joyfully free from poverty and injustice. He cried as we prayed.
I was struck. Here is the Bride of Christ. Here is who Jesus marries. Here is his choice--to love and to cherish, to honor and support, to devote himself to fully, until life is complete. Here is a picture of salvation in the grace of Jesus. Royal by marriage.