Weddings - they’re really all about the bride, right? From the moment of when he puts a ring on it, the bride becomes the center of attention. The dress, the decor, the cake, the invitations - the list goes on and on. What has the bride been dreaming about? What are her deepest desires? We always look to the woman who will be walking down the aisle for ideas, input, and the final verdict for all things.
The Old Testament prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Hosea alluded to Israel being the bride. And the bride is mentioned by name in the book of Revelation in reference to the global church, but it’s most clearly personified by the apostle, Paul.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
“For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:31-32
The bride of Jesus is the church.
So with that in mind... do we give her the attention she deserves? I’m not really talking to the church as a whole - I mean we as individuals - you and me. Do I give the church the attention she deserves?
I’m a big advocate of serving in the local church. So were Stephanas, Tychicus, Archippus, Aquila, Priscilla, and Lydia just to name a few (Paul’s friends that he gave shout-outs to). Paul thought it was important for us to know who was actually doing the work of the ministry in the local church. Resources, finances, and manual labor were provided by people to make church happen. It was true then, and it’s true now.
If you are serving, thank you. If not, consider it. I’m well aware there is a season for everything, and I’ve been in and out of all seasons while attending church - single, newly married, pregnant, new mom, busy mom, depressed mom and “not-interested-and-don’t-want-a-label” woman. Only for short stints did I take a break from serving. My roles may have looked different, but if I was consuming and being fed by the church, I was compelled to serve.
A few words of encouragement to you - as a volunteer - from a leader of volunteers in a church:
Sign up - If you have margin, serve. NFL fans spend 46 hours a month obsessed with their team, and will drive an average of 296 miles for an away game.** Only 9% of churchgoers will drive more than 30 minutes to attend church.* Let’s get in the game!
Show up - Don’t assume your church leadership will have your position covered if you bail. That’s not the point anyway. We want you to be bought into the vision of making church a home for yourself and for others.
Share the weight - Your church, your team, and your leaders want you to be a contributor. Look around for how you can step up or support the mission.
Most of us have been in or around a bride-to-be. She needs others to sign up, show up, and share the weight as the wedding day approaches. There are invitations to be sent, tables to be set, and a party to be planned for the ultimate wedding. Let’s not forget THE bride, and let’s serve her well.