“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Ephesians 5:25-27
Beautiful lilting music plays softly in the background as the guests are seated; the church glows with lovely arrangements of flowers and the anticipation of the event about to take place. After a seemingly endless time of preparation, the day of her marriage has finally arrived. The wedding march begins as her father takes her arm to escort her into the next stage of her life. This is a day she has dreamed of for such a long time; she gazes at the eager face of her awaiting groom. As they pass the church window, she catches a glimpse of herself in its reflection. She is appalled, her finely coiffured hair is matted and in disarray. Her face is smudged and her exquisite white gown is tattered and frayed. She cannot present herself to her bridegroom in this state. Her heart sinks as she realizes that after all she has planned and anticipated, when the moment finally came she was not prepared for him.
There will come a day when every one of us will be presented before the Lord. Some to eternal reward; and sadly, some to eternal judgment. It is the responsibility of the redeemed, the called out, the body of Christ to fulfill His intention while we are here. We are to be about our Father's business. It is not God's will that any man should perish and we are entrusted with the Divine responsibility of carrying out His command to evangelize. The disarray of carnality, the smudges of pride and the tattered garments of selfishness are not what is needed to lead others to salvation. II Peter 3:14 speaks of this, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.” In the bronze laver of the tabernacle, the priests would wash themselves before further approaching God. The priest would be dirtied by the activities of the sacrifices and contact with the population. Clean water was continually poured into the laver, which had a highly reflective bronze surface. The priest washed until his visage was clean and he was able to come closer to God for the atonement of the people. This is telling; in that, priest needed to be cleansed from the dirt of the world in order to perform his duties, the church needs to do the same.
How disconcerting it would be to look in the mirror and not recognize the face staring back at you. We are to reflect God's image to others for their salvation, if we are covered in things that are not Him, what exactly are we reflecting? When the day comes that Christ returns for His Bride, I pray that He finds her spotless.
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.” Revelation 22:17