published: Sunday, April 12, 2009
The lover of my soul
Courtship and marriage was the dream of my heart.
From my earliest years, I delighted in attending weddings. The bride would appear at the back of the church dressed in her beautiful white gown while her groom eagerly awaited her procession.
As she passed by, her flowing train swished along the aisle and I released a dreamlike sigh.
In courtship, the man and woman get to know each other. They see if their relationship will be built on a shared faith. They spend time together; discuss their values and what's important to them; learn each others likes and dislikes; and, see if they enjoy similar things and have similar ideas.
As these steps are taken in first building their friendship, the couple will know whether to take the relationship the distance to the altar. And when they do, neither feels coerced or bullied into taking that step.
They willingly give themselves to one another in love - leaving father and mother and becoming one flesh.
When we look at the cross and the empty tomb, we see a God who has courted and wooed us with unfailing, unsurpassable love. The Creator/Redeemer's love for us who are made in his image is compared to married love.
In Ephesians 5:25, NIV, we read these words, "Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her ..." This sacrificial love is what we see on the cross.
Then in verse 27 the thoughts continue, "... to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
In this we can see the glory of resurrection - Christ in his glorified body welcoming us to live life with him eternally.
When we come to God the Father through God the Son, Jesus Christ, we don't come because he has pressured us or forced us. He has loved us with an everlasting love even while we were dead in our sins.
Rather he draws us to himself through his matchless love exhibited in coming to this earth, dying on the cross in our place, and rising again - making us right with God by his grace and through our faith.
When we grasp this truth we can offer ourselves freely and lovingly to him as a bride to her groom.
As we surrender to him we know freedom. Bondage is a thing of the past.
This Resurrection Sunday, embrace the Lover of your soul. Selah
Jan Merop of Sebring is a News-Sun correspondent.
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