Did you watch the royal wedding last weekend? It had pomp and ceremony, a Hollywood A-list cast, royals, pop stars, and sports stars; it had a gripping story with a party prince marrying his true love; the staging was marvellous: a castle, a beautiful chapel, the quaint village, the long walk crowded with well-wishers. But is it just a fairy-tale relationship with no real substance, or will it be authentic, genuine and lasting? Is it the real deal?
We long for real relationships because God created us as relational beings. God is Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, a being who has relationship at the core of his being. Created in God’s image, we are created for relationship with God and with others. If God is the Ultimate Reality – then real relationships must in some way flow from a real relationship with God.
Jesus gave us a way of linking real life with our relationship with God. “Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3). Real life is found in a real relationship with God and Jesus.
At the royal wedding Prince Charles escorted Meghan Markle down the aisle. Linking her arm, the future King of England smiled and spoke with her, putting her at ease. In a sense, this is what Jesus does for us. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, loves us the church, and escorts us into the presence of God (Isaiah 9.7). This gives us confidence to draw near to God (Hebrews 10:19–22). Jesus makes us part of the family, children of God, so that by his Spirit we call God Abba, Father (Romans 8.15).
John the Baptist revealed a special aspect of how real our relationship with Jesus is. He spoke of Jesus as a groom preparing for his wedding and said the people who were going to Jesus were like his bride. “The bride belongs to the groom.” This reveals the special nature of the relationship between Jesus and the church. It also directs our attention to the royal wedding described in the book of Revelation, “Hallelujah! Our Lord God is the King who rules over all. Let us be joyful and glad! Let us give him glory! It is time for the Lamb’s wedding. His bride has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:6–7)
The Church is like a bride waiting for the groom to arrive. In recent days we heard about the Markle Sparkle. We too are called to sparkle as we await Jesus’ return. We are to "… shine like stars in the heavens.” (Philippians 2:15)
How could you foster a real relationship with God?
How can you live so you sparkle like a star in the universe – witnessing to the reality of your relationship with Jesus?
Rev John Malcolm