Keep Your Eyes On the Groom

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 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah!
    For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
 Let us rejoice and be glad
    and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
    and his bride has made herself ready.
 Fine linen, bright and clean,
    was given her to wear.”  Revelations 19:6-8

I’ve never seen a bride who wasn’t radiant. Dress her in the raiments of her wedding, and she glows with a joy we all want to capture.

This past weekend, our youngest son married his bride. As I’ve done for years, instead of looking first at the bride, I watched the groom, our son, as she first appeared at the end of the aisle. If you’ve never done that, then try it next time. The bride will remain radiant, don’t worry, you won’t miss a thing. But the groom only catches his first glimpse once. Make sure you see it.

We’ve had three of our children marry, so far. With each one, I watched the groom first.

Our son Chris had a nervous smile on his face that turned to consternation as his bride took longer than expected to step out of the limo that delivered her to their garden wedding. The moment she alighted, his face transformed with relief, joy, and happiness. I’ve never seen his smile as big as I did that day.

When our daughter Terri approached her husband-to-be, I watched tears cloud his eyes. He couldn’t take his eyes off of her. When she came close enough, he couldn’t help himself. “Wow,” he whispered as he drank in the sight of her.

This past weekend Nathan stood stiffly at the front of the church, waiting. When they opened the doors to reveal his bride, he grinned, his gaze focused solely on her. I waited. This son is more reserved than the others and I sensed him holding back. Then I saw it, a great big gulp, his Adam’s apple wobbling with the emotion he couldn’t contain.

Each of these lovely daughters of mine caught a glimpse of what awaits us on the day when Christ receives his bride, the church. A wedding is the perfect time to get a hint of the joy we’ll experience on that day, when we are presented in fine linen, bright and clean. I can’t begin to imagine our joy. But I believe the joy on Christ’s face will outshine our joy like the sun blocks out the stars.

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Contest For Writers

© Barbara V. Evers, All rights reserved.

This week has been really busy for us since our daughter got married on Friday. Lots of fun and excitement and not much time for blog posting. For that reason, I’m going to let my writing blog (An Eclectic Muse) do double duty:

I’m running a contest this week, deadline midnight (EST) Monday, April 10.  Each entrant will receive a copy of 10 Grammar Rules Every Writer Should Know.

One lucky winner will receive:

  • Writer’s Editing and Critiquing Tips pdf
  • 25% discount off of a proofreading or edit of your manuscript OR 50 pages edited for free
  • A copy of the Fall/Winter 2016 moonShine review

Odds of winning are very high right now! Check out the post for entry details. Please enter and share this post!

We Are Called to Love One Another

I purposefully have not posted about the recent Supreme Court ruling. With all of the hype on social media, I wanted to let the frenzy die down a bit.  And as a side note, I never meant for this blog to be a political blog. It’s a blog on faith, not a blog on the current political situation.

That said, several of my posts as I journey through my development of faith touch on current topics, political or religious. I have tried to be mindful in my posts and present a loving and caring Christian attitude toward all.  In three of the gospels–Matthew, Mark, and Luke–the question of the greatest commandment comes up.  In all three accounts, the answer is similar:

Jesus replied:  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and will all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.   And the second is like it:  ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  Matthew 23:37-40

The story in Luke 10:25-29 is slightly different.  In this case, an expert in the law asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus turned the tables and asked the expert to answer his own question.  The man gives the same answer as Jesus gives in Matthew 23 and Mark 12, and Jesus commends him for his answer.

Love is the key.  Not marital love like the Supreme Court just discussed, but agape love:  selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love. Agape love is used to describe Jesus’ love for his Father and for his followers.

We are called, as Christians, to love one another.  I have striven to exhibit that kind of love through my blog. It’s not easy, my friends, when discussing some of the atrocities that occurred in my life, but I’ve tried.

I have seen a lot of people on both sides of the gay marriage issue thumbing their noses at each other.  How ridiculous and childish.  I read a post a few weeks ago that pointed out that Jesus lived in a time when the government was rife with sin.  He didn’t try to change the government.  He focused on meeting people where they are and inviting them to see a different way of life.  A life of freedom from sin through accepting His love, and ultimately accepting His sacrifice.  Does the New Testament, the part of the Bible outlining the Christian faith, say anything about sin?  Absolutely.  One of the passages about this topic is found in 1 Corinthians 9-11:

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived:  Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters not adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.  And that is what some of you were.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

It is there in the New Testament, but I ask you to consider what else appears in this list, or for a thrill, check our Galatians 5:19-21 which includes other lovely sins such as jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, hatred, discord, envy, etc.

Yes, these are all sins in the eyes of God.  And no one on earth is without sin.

What we need to do is show the love of Christ, not hatred. And, we must remember that even those of us who live by the Spirit are guilty of many of the other items listed in these verses.

We ALL fall short.

That is why we need Christ.

This is why He gave His life as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.

And this is why Christ commanded us to love one another because you can’t lead others to Christ through hatred.  It just doesn’t work. I am not immune to the current situation.  I have friends in same sex relationships and/or marriages.  I had a family member who chose that lifestyle for a while then turned away from it by choice, not by coercion. I love each of these people unconditionally.

I’m sure some will find fault with my words.  I’ve put them forth humbly and hope that others will understand my point.

I invite your comments but please speak with a willingness to discuss this situation with maturity. Remember, Christ commanded us to love one another.