When I was in high school, I was in our church high school choir. Every year we were invited to sing in the Disneyland Christmas parade. There were all kinds of benefits, including getting to play in the park afterwards. But one of the things that was amazing was that we were only one of dozens of choirs. We all met “off stage” and put on our choir robes and then lined up. It was exciting to be part of a huge crowd of people dressed in colorful robes, waiting for the signal. When the parade started, we walked slowly through the park, singing Christmas carols. We ended on the steps of the train station where we listened to a famous actor read the Nativity story from the gospel of Luke. Then we sang the Hallelujah chorus.
I think that experience was a little foretaste of what the wedding feast of the Lamb will be like. There will be a huge crowd of believers milling around in their spotless robes, waiting for the signal to come into the feast. When we go in, we’ll be singing the praises of the Groom.
The cool thing is that we’ll not only be the guests at the feast, we’re also the bride. The Church is the bride of Christ. Because He’s saved me, I’m part of the Church, part of the greatest love story ever.
So when I get frustrated with the church - the song I don’t like, the Sunday School curriculum I didn’t choose, the expectations I can’t meet, the people who don’t pitch in, the priorities on programs I think are less important, the gossip, the bickering, the people who leave over silly things - I need to remember that this is Jesus’ love.
These people that I love but sometimes frustrate me are the bride of Christ. He died for us. He redeemed us. He bought us with His blood. The church is beautiful. He delights in her. He loves us and we bring Him pleasure.
Who am I not to do the same? I should delight in my brothers and sisters at church. They are beautiful and I am blessed to be one of them. Together, when we meet to worship Him, we are bringing pleasure to our Groom.