There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you… when everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. John 14:2-3 (NLT)
Our family recently celebrated the marriage of our youngest son, Matthew, to his bride Nikki Chen. Since Nikki is from China and her parents were unable to join us for the festivities, Dave and I took on the role of both parents of the bride AND the groom.
The wedding took place at our family lake cabin (where Matthew and Nikki first met), so to prepare for the grand event, Dave and I along with another son, Andrew and his girlfriend Janelle, arrived a few days early to deep clean and organize. Prayer, planning, and “team” whipped the cabin into shape, and after some hard work, the place was ready for the real fun: decorating!
Christmas lights were strung in the back yard where the wedding was held. Chinese decorations and festive balloons were hung around the cabin and in Uncle Dean’s lake home just down the road (the site of our rehearsal dinner). Tables and chairs were set up for our banqueting, table cloths and flowers arranged. The whole family got into the decorating act and it was delightful as it all unfolded.
And then there was the food! I had cooked up LOTS of ham balls and Scandinavian meatballs in advance for the wedding, baked well over a hundred Norwegian Kringla, and Dave had earlier smoked pork roasts for pulled pork for the rehearsal dinner. Other family members contributed to the wedding food with fruit and veggie trays, and Chinese friends cooked ribs and dumplings. And of course, a beautiful wedding cake was baked in advance, then assembled and decorated by a loving friend of the bride the morning of the wedding. Sparkling cider and lemonade graced the tables to wash down all the goodies. It was all simply beautiful and SCRUMPTIOUS!
All of this work and creative effort certainly was worth it when we witnessed the radiant bride, dressed in her gorgeous white dress, walk from the cabin to our little assembled group to join her groom. And amidst all of this celebration and joy, I was reminded of heaven!
Before leaving this earth, Jesus comforted his disciples by these reassuring words, “I am going to prepare a place for you … and when it is ready, I will come and get you so that you will always be with me where I am.”
Just coming off days (really weeks!) of preparing for this cabin wedding, I suddenly got a deeper glimpse of what Jesus is presently up to! He is preparing for a marriage! I don’t know that heaven needs a deep cleaning, but the Bible does talk of beautiful decorations of gems and gold, and of the “wedding supper of the Lamb,” (Revelation 19:9) of “a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine – the best of meats and the finest of wines,” ((Isaiah 25:6-7). Weddings take preparation, and Jesus (and his angels???) are all on it! Excitedly!!!
And of course, all of this is for the BIG EVENT: the wedding of the Lamb and “his bride, who has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean for her to wear.” (Revelation 19:7-8) Ladies, WE are the bride! Take joy in knowing that your bridegroom is planning to come and get you “in style” and lavishly treat you to the BIG event of all time – being united with him forever! THAT will be a day of celebration that we will forever relish with unceasing praise and delight!
“He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” Rev. 22:20