The whole world is captivated at the moment, naturally, with the royal wedding. You can’t turn on any kind of media without being inundated with a wealth of important facts all the way down to the most piffling of trivia. Everyone is wrestling with a genteel but steely tenacity to get as close to the pomp and circumstance as possible. This year, even the Americans are fired up, vicariously triumphing in the illusion that they’re marrying into the Crown. For those of us who watched two desolate young men walking stone-faced with the adults behind the funeral cortege of Diana, this is a big moment. After unthinkable tragedy, we are invested in their happiness. We’re standing in proxy for you, People’s Princess.
It always astonishes me to watch the frenzy of excitement that nuptials incite, whether it’s on a rare royal occasion or the more plebian variety. It seems the electricity of courtship and marriage has not abated one whit since time immemorial. Add the royal factor to it, and you’ve got a major event. If you do a comparison, you’ll find that the tenor of these occasions recorded in Scripture thousands of years, (and miles), distant, remains essentially unchanged. There’s something inexpressibly elemental about the whole nature of romance, beauty, virility, tradition, covenant and consummated love that just never gets old. It’s feasting to the soul.
There’s a wonderful, impossibly intimate glimpse into the frenetic preparations probably ensuing at the palace at this moment in the unlikely location of Psalm 45. Somehow the poetic images manage to capture the soldierly valor of the approaching bridegroom along with the incomparable preciousness of the bride. The whole court is humming at high gear. You can feel the flurry and excitement vibrating in the air. A gaggle of nervous bridesmaids surround the Bride as she receives the finishing touches. They’re lining up down the hall, holding their breath as she enters the sanctuary.
The king's daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework: the virgins her companions that follow her shall be brought unto thee. With gladness and rejoicing shall they be brought: they shall enter into the king's palace. Psalm 45:13-15
Marriage, Birth, Death. This is one of those places in life where ‘Deep calls unto deep’. We are born for love. Even the least cloyingly sentimental or gushingly romantic among us know it. Life testifies continuously to the essential necessity of adoration beyond ourselves. As I mentioned last week, we long to be ‘the Beloved’. We ache for the thrill of being chosen, valued, esteemed and approved. Marriage is the ultimate expression of this, especially at a royal level. We may be battle-scared and bloodied, but life isn’t right until what is eternally placed in our hearts manifests profoundly in our lives. Just because the concept is elusive to grasp from the Divine, or difficult to find in the natural doesn’t mean we give up the hunt. The ancient bridal garments of honor and privilege are our antediluvian birthrights, so we’re not letting go until we find them.
As deliciously fascinating as the current festivities are, all of this isn’t going to hold a tealight to the ultimate feast of the age. “The Bride” is headed in one direction, and It’s glorious! I’m talking about the Wedding feast of the Lamb, the blow-out to end all blow-outs. We’re just warming up for the big one.
Let us rejoice and exalt him and give him glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come. And his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, shining bright and clear, has been given to her to wear, and the fine linen represents the righteous deeds of his holy believers.” Then the angel said to me, “Write these words: Wonderfully blessed are those who are invited to feast at the wedding celebration of the Lamb!” And then he said to me,“These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:7-9
Quite a vision, isn’t it? But, hold on a minute. All eyes were on Windsor this week, but let’s bring this closer to home. Every joe-ordinary wants the sense of being an honored guest, sharing a glimpse of the world’s most privileged enclave in its full fête plumage. Actually, you don’t have to be the commoner, camped out in the street for days to catch the promenade. There’s a royal wedding, reception and feast, and you are invited!
How absurd would it be if a royal invitation was hand delivered to you, straight from Kensington Palace, and you decided you couldn’t go because you had to work, because you were holidaying, instagraming, because you had to meet someone you met online for coffee….because…just because! People would think you were a complete fool, and they would be right. In like manner, there is absolutely no excuse sufficiently valid to preclude you from entering the on-going feast of the Kingdom, purchased at such a cost for you.
According to Jesus, this glorious feast is already begun (Matthew 22:1-14). You’ve received your gilt-edged, hand-lettered invitation. Unfortunately, so few realize what is actually going on and seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Our Abba Father in Heaven has a banquet for us to enjoy all the premium things of life that Jesus has repossessed from the enemy. It’s a huge gala event, full of joy, beauty and pageantry, but instead showing up, excuses abound. We’re so busy doing our own thing, our own way, working, merchandising, recreating, procrastinating, that we hold in contempt the sublimely precious honor that is being held out us this very moment. What could possibly be more pressing than a divine audience?
Abba is looking down on your life right now, longing to bless you, to lavish His provision and largess on you, to enjoy your attention and conversation. You think that the House of Windsor had a party? It's a pale shadow to one going on in the House of God!