Did you ever get a “save the date” card in the mail? A young couple announces their wedding date far in advance to make sure you put it on the calendar. Then an official invitation arrives. As the big day approaches family members keep reminding each other about the “big day” that is about to take place.
Weddings have a way of suddenly taking priority over everything else in a family. We save the date so that we don’t let any other commitments intrude upon that special day. A wedding is a new beginning not just for the couple getting married but for the whole family.
Today the Church sends us a “save the date” card in the mail. It reminds us that the greatest wedding in the history of the human race is about to take place. The Church cries out to us:
“Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9).
These words are repeated over and over again in the Psalm response, so we don’t forget to get ready for this feast of all feasts, party of all parties.
Who is this “Lamb” and whom is he marrying? John the Baptist told us long ago that Jesus is the “Lamb of God,” and guess what–we are the bride. This is why the Holy Spirit is working on us so intently to get us dressed and ready for this big occasion—a bride “holy and spotless.” Do we realize that we are getting ready to be married, once again, to the Lamb?
So the Church tells us to sing out as loud as we can to celebrate this coming event (Psalm 100:1-5):
“Sing joyfully to the Lord all you lands; serve the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyfully song…he made us, his we are; his people, the flock he tends. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, his courts with praise.”
The Lamb leads his flock through the gates into the courts where the wedding is about to take place. We, the flock, sing joyfully and with hearts overflowing with thanksgiving that we have been hand-picked to be at this great wedding feast.
Then the Church shocks us into reality with the words of Jesus given in the gospel (Luke 21:20-28). Prophesying about what will happen before he comes to take his bride home to himself, Jesus said:
“There will be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, and on earth nations will be in dismay, perplexed by the roaring of the sea and the waves. People will die of fright in anticipation of what is coming upon the world, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.”
How scary! The “important” agenda of the nations will mean nothing any more. The upheavals in creation will frighten people to death. All seems out of control!
Now the wedding is about to begin. The Lamb appears in front of the altar at the head of the aisle:
“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
Jesus tells us not be frightened when these signs begin to happen, but to “stand erect and raise your heads, because your redemption is at hand.”
No matter what happens in our world, let’s remember that all is taken place to get the world ready for the wedding of the Lamb. No matter what happens in our own lives, let’s remember that God is getting us, the bride, cleaned up and dressed to stand up and walk down the aisle to meet Jesus. We are all getting ready whether we realize it or not.
“Blessed are they who are called to the wedding feast of the Lamb.”