“He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.” These words of John the Baptist still apply today.

They were certainly true as John applied them to his joy of seeing and hearing the Lord Jesus Christ. John took a general truth and applied it to his specific situation. We can still do this same thing here in the twentieth century while we await the coming of the bridegroom from heaven to take his faithful as his bride. While we wait it is quite right and proper for marriages in the Lord to take place, and we recently experienced the joy John spoke of when he said that the friend of the bridegroom rejoiceth greatly.

It has been our happy lot to travel to Western Canada to witness and hear the voice of the bride and the bridegroom as our son was married in the Lord to a sister in Christ. Weddings are truly a happy time when two who both love Jesus decide to walk hand in hand together towards his kingdom.

When these two young people married, they joined two families who previously had not known one another. Now we feel a strong affinity for those we had not previously met, and as a result of this marriage, those who might never have met, are now drawn close together in love. The young people in love are in the centre but the circles of love radiate out from them and encompass many others who are now drawn together because of our mutual love for our children and those they love.

Isn’t this the way it is in Christ? We, by becoming his, come to love so many others who also love him, who without this common bond of love, would not otherwise have known one another. We feel a closeness to our brothers and sisters because they love the same Lord we love. We have the most precious thing in the world in common, our love and devotion to Jesus.

Just as we love the members of our new daughter-in-law’s family, so we love the other members of Christ’s family. If we belong to Christ, then we belong to the family of Abraham and become an heir to all the glorious promises God made to him.

As in the natural, so in the spiritual: by becoming related to Christ we become related to a host of new relatives we have not heretofore known. Some of the members of our family in Christ we may not meet personally until Christ returns to join us all together in one big happy family reunion at the marriage supper the lamb.

What joys there are in this life in being related to Christ! But what greater joys there are in store for us in the future! Right now we can rejoice greatly because of the happy family ties that bind us together, but this is nothing in comparison to the joy that is set before us when that glorious wedding of the future becomes a reality.

We are now in the engagement period, and our engagement may be long or short. We do not know the date of our wedding. We do know this: that it is imperative that we continue to look and long for the return of our bridegroom. He will accept us only if we have been faithful to him while we waited.

Let us be happy and faithful while we wait, living out the sentiments so beautifully expressed by the prophet Isaiah who said, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”