There are not many weddings in winter. In fact, June is famously known as the “wedding month”, with the highest percentage of couples getting hitched. The winter months typically have the fewest number of weddings, with January being the lowest.
If you really want to shock people, send out a Save the Date card with a January time stamp and they’ll say, “Who gets married in January?!!”. In most climates, winter is cold, the flowers are dead (except from your local florist), and no one is expecting a wedding in winter.
The Bible also talks about a wedding that will come when we least expect it. Revelation calls it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.
“‘Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’- for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
“And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God’” (Revelation 19:7-9).
Jesus told his disciples that he would be returning for them so that they could be with him in heaven (John 14:3).
Angels confirmed to the apostles that Jesus would be coming back in the same way they saw him leave, in a cloud (Acts 1:10-11).
The apostle John received a special revelation from God that concluded with a message that Christ would be coming again soon (Revelation 22:12).
But God’s Word says Christ will come when we least expect it, when we are not looking for it. Many will not be ready, the Bible says, because they are too busy enjoying the pleasures of this life, just as the people in Noah’s day didn’t expect a worldwide flood to come until it was too late!
This is because no one except God the Father knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return, not even the angels or Jesus himself! (Matthew 24:36-39)
The most prestigious of all weddings has no “Save the Date” warning.
However, those who are children of God (those who have repented of their sins and put their faith in Christ as their only Savior from those sins) will not be totally shocked at its coming (1 Thessalonians 5:4).
We may not know the exact time Jesus will return, but we know what to look for because the Bible describes it for us. We are told to stay awake and watchful. Not that we should literally never close our eyes to get some sleep, but that we should be preparing ourselves for that unexpected hour.
This is where the picture of the wedding comes into play.
I recently returned from a trip to the Chicago area for my brother-in-law’s wedding. They seemed to get hitched without a hitch! The total wedding planning time took about a year and a half.
It was a DIY (do it yourself) style wedding and reception, so the bride arose extra early to get her hair and makeup done so she could then set up her own flowers, table decor, and place settings. Whew! That makes me tired and stressed just thinking about it!
Her preparations looked flawless:
Soft white lights strung across the ceiling contrasted the rough wooden rafters and exposed brick walls of the venue, giving the room a warm, romantic glow.
Elegant white rose petals lined the floor on either side of the aisle.
The guest tables had beautiful and intricate place settings.
The bride herself was stunning yet simplistic with her soft up-do, off-white, satin sweetheart dress with white Chuck Taylors (Converse sneakers) underneath (what else?!).
While everything looked seamless, I know how much work she put into her special day. And we should do the same.
But our groom is not just a man, he is the perfect Son of God.
The Bible often refers to the return of Christ as “the day of the Lord”. And since we have been told that it is coming, the apostle Peter asks what sort of lives we ought to be living (2 Peter 3:8-12).
Titus 2:11-13 says those who have faith in Christ as their Savior should be living lives of holiness and godliness, turning away from sinful desires and worldly pleasures.
With even more thought, detail, and intention than a bride puts into her wedding day, we should be diligently making ourselves ready to be found without spot or blemish for our perfect groom, Jesus Christ.
God’s Word promises that we do not have to do this alone! As we strive toward holiness, it is God who is at work in us, and at his coming he will make our garments spotless white (Philippians 2:12-13; Ephesians 5:25-27).
Those who have not turned from their sins and trusted in Christ for salvation also need to be on the alert for this future wedding day.
But instead of a lavish wedding dinner with Jesus the bridegroom, scripture paints a different picture of the wedding scene for them.
In the book of Matthew, Jesus tells a story about guests at a wedding feast. As the king comes to meet them, he finds one man lacking proper wedding attire. The king instructs his attendants to “bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 22:13).
This may sound harsh just for wearing the wrong outfit, but for those who want to enter the marriage supper of the Lamb, their garments must be washed and made white by the blood of the Lamb himself.
This means you must turn from your sin and place your trust in the payment that Christ made on the cross of his own blood for your behalf. He paid the just penalty for your sin so that you do not have to. He takes your dirty, torn garments on himself and gives you his spotless robe of righteousness earned by his perfectly obedient life.
If by God’s grace you place your faith in him, then you will be properly adorned for the greatest wedding of all time. Then you will be able to say like Isaiah:
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10).