Monday, May 09, 2011

And they all lived happily ever after...

Just a few weeks ago, the entire world had their eyes turned to England for the wedding of Prince William and the young Kate Middleton. Well, maybe not the whole world. I did not stay up late or wake up early to watch what was happening across the pond, but I did manage to see some of the highlights of the festivities. Events of such a grand scale and exquisiteness as a royal wedding may be excessive, yet people are obviously drawn to them.

I pondered, what it is about these two young lovers tying the knot that holds millions of observers with no connection to them completely agog with every detail of the day? And I came up with a couple of theories.

We like to see good news. In our present day, we are inundated with news stories of natural disasters – earthquakes, tsunami, tornados, flooding – where hundreds of thousands of lives are impacted in the blink of an eye. Not to mention the devastation mankind brings upon itself, through war (even when it is for the right reasons), crime, substance abuse, and abuses toward others. Plus our own personal drama – bills to pay, relationships that don’t work, illness …. You get the idea. There’s something good in seeing people smiling, truly smiling, even if it’s just for a day. (Looking at the picture of the Royal Family on the balcony, apparently the little girl got tired of complying with the “be happy” memo…)

We want to believe fairy tales can happen. Ask any six year old girl what her favorite movie is, and chances are it involves a Disney princess. And what happens in a movie with a Disney princess? The young heroine meets a handsome prince, there is a bit of conflict or tension, they end up falling in love, getting married, and living happily ever after. Of course there are some variations to the story – for example, in Beauty and the Beast the prince was not what most would consider handsome for the majority of the film; Aladdin was a commoner posing as a prince to win the heart of Princess Jasmine. But in the end, love triumphs over all. (By the way, did anyone else notice that the Royal Wedding came complete with a Royal Stepmother? Not implying Camilla is evil or anything like that … just sayin’ …)

As I pondered further, I think there is a deeper reason why we are all so captivated by the royal affair. It may not be easy to understand on the surface, so bear with me as we dive in …

It’s been said that the Bible is God’s love story to His people. Throughout Scripture is the metaphor of the Church, the collective body of Christians, as the bride, with Jesus as the Bridegroom. Back in the days of old, before there was a wedding there would be a time of betrothal. The bride and bridegroom were separated during that time, while preparations were made for the marriage. No matter how simple or elaborate the preparation might be, the bride’s foremost responsibility was to remain faithful during the bridegroom’s absence, for at the end of the betrothal period, he would return. There would be a wonderful marriage ceremony, followed by a glorious feast!

God has placed eternity in our hearts. And He promises those who believe in Jesus eternal life in heaven, our own happily ever after. We, as members of the Church, ought to remain faithful to Jesus as we prepare ourselves and wait in anticipation for the day that Jesus returns for his bride.

1 comment:

Tom said...

What an interesting article. The betrothal theme in scripture really interests me.

being scottish I also took quite an interest in the royal wedding!