Here at Faith Church we are about to enter that glorious time of year known as “wedding season”. Almost every weekend, from March through September, our church schedule is loaded with weddings. Many of those getting married this year are currently planning the ceremony. This planning process can lead many to be anxious, or worse: have a self-centered focus. As flowers are being ordered, tuxes and dresses procured, and Pintrest scoured for MORE ideas, it would benefit all involved to pause and ask…”is all the pomp really worth it?” Revelation 19:7-10 sheds light on the glorious purpose that could potentially be behind “all the wedding fuss.”
Verse 7 says, “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him.” For some Christians, it is hard to have attention on themselves. This is magnified during the wedding ceremony as everyone stands and turns around to see the bride proceed to the front of the sanctuary. This was the case with my wife, Kelli. She struggled immensely with having all eyes on her on our wedding day. Our wedding day was not as joyous as it could have been for her because she needed the truth of Revelation 19:7 and 8 to help her understand that any rejoicing and gladness was because of Jesus and what He had done for her as she represented the Church.
Others have no struggle being the center of attention (a.k.a. “bride-” or “groom-zilla”). They would love to be the source of joy and gladness for everyone at their wedding. These brides and grooms need Revelation 19:7-8 to remind them that their wedding is a picture of the joy and gladness that believers have in Christ and our relationship with Him, NOT the day that everyone in their lives should kiss the ground on which they walk.
Another aspect of the wedding ceremony, that is often neglected, is the bride’s dress. You might be saying, “But Corbit, haven’t you ever seen those TV shows all about the dress? And don’t you know how much those things cost? People are obsessed with wedding dresses!” I would agree with you in that sense, but, on the other hand, consider the color of the dress. The most common wedding dress color in the United States is white, which has a profound connection to this passage in Revelation 19:8. The beautiful white dress that the bride wears is supposed to represent “the righteous acts of the saints.” The color, beauty, and purity of the dress needs to be highlighted because it is the perfect illustration of the righteousness which Christ has “given” to His church (Rev. 19:8). The shy bride, or the “bride-zilla’, can take great care and joy in the beautiful dress worn because it represents the radiant righteousness that Christ bought for His Church on the Cross. When wearing the special dress, the bride can fellowship with Christ in a unique way as she praises Him with her dress for all the righteous acts His saints have done, because He bought them. For pastors, this is the perfect tool to highlight the Gospel in the ceremony, especially for those unbelievers who might be in attendance. These unbelievers are probably focused on the dress anyway.
A wedding ceremony should also be a worship service to God and not to the bride, the groom, or anything else. Revelation 19:10 makes this clear. John bows down to his host at the wedding feast to worship him and is quickly rebuked. “Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God.” The bride, groom, pastor, and anyone involved in the wedding ceremony need to keep this truth at the front of their mind. The wedding ceremony is, first and foremost, an opportunity to worship God as it foreshadows the great wedding feast of the Lamb described in Revelation. If you are getting married, or attending a wedding, I hope the Wedding Feast of the Lamb reminds you of the need for worship during the wedding ceremony.