Monday, February 05, 2007

Retreat: Christianity is a Marriage

This is the fourth in a series of posts dedicated to the Sons and Daughters of the Light retreat. First was an overview of the weekend. Second was a lengthy and detailed recap of the events. What follow are thoughts about the retreat from my own perspective and experiences.

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. (Revelation 19:7)

I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

Tracey talked about realizing that, instead of praying for God to be in her life, she should have been praying to be in God's life. That is, God is already in her life, He is in all of our lives, He manifest Himself in flesh in the person of Jesus Christ. What's remaining is for us to be in Him. God came to be with us in the flesh so that we could be with God in spirit.

Then she reintroduced us to the marriage vows: she read them as between God and us individually. "I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of My life." To hear those words coming from God, and then to say them back to Him, adds another dimension to marriage. Tracey used the example of her life being a marriage ceremony to Christ. She pictures herself maybe three-quarters of the way down the aisle.

So picture yourself in a church, whether it be a quiet chapel or a grand cathedral. You are walking down the aisle to Christ, to marry yourself to Christ and devote yourself entirely to him as he has devoted himself entirely to you. Christ is the Bridegroom, the Church is the Bride, and so all who make up the Church are spouses of Christ as well.

Picture the aisle of the church, with Christ at one end. He does not stand at the altar, he stands in place of the altar: he is the Priest and Victim. As you look to your left and right, you see row after row of pews. The walk down the aisle is not an easy one, because you must leave your burdens (to which you are so attached) behind to take up the yoke of Christ. How easy it would be to just stop and sit in a pew, instead of advancing down the aisle to Christ.

Don't let yourself be a spectator, a visitor, at your own wedding to Christ. Don't settle for less than Christ himself.

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