I saw it again yesterday. One of my favorite things to watch.
The chatter slowed as the time drew near. The music started. The processional began. Reaction was mostly polite lack of immediate interest, combined with more than a little anticipation.
He made his entrance. Stood awkwardly in front of the crowd. More or less made eye contact with a few of them, but looked like he felt very much out of place.
Then it happened. The music changed. A buzz went through the crowd. The doors opened. The crowd turned to look. He strained to see too, though he couldn't at first.
After a moment or two, though, he saw. There she was, on her Daddy's arm. Radiant. Beaming. The bride, made ready for her groom.
As I watched the groom, I knew the exact moment when he could see her. His smiled deepened with a heavy dose of "Wow!!," as his breath left him. For a brief second, composure left him too, but he managed to regain it and to actually breath again. All others in the room disappeared from his vision. He saw only her. His bride.
I love to watch this moment in a wedding ceremony. Oh sure, I'll turn with the others & watch her coming down the aisle with her Daddy. But I always make a point of turning back & watching the groom as he strains to see his bride. Not sure why, but I have 2 guesses.
First, a past tense reason. I recall that nearly 25 years ago I was the groom straining to see his bride. I still recall how that first view took my breath away and how everyone else in the church vanished when I saw her. This still happens when she enters a room, btw.
And second, a future tense reason.
"As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you."
"Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
'Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 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; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure'— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, 'Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.' And he said to me, 'These are the true words of God.'"
A day is coming, ladies & gents, when we, the bride of Christ, will enter the presence of the bridegroom. The analogy of an earthly bridegroom falls trememdously short at this point. But it is absolutely awesome to ponder, isn't it? Our heavenly bridegroom rejoicing as we make our entrance?
Perhaps that's why I so very much enjoy watching the guy when the bride enters. It's both a reminder and foreshadowing. I definitely remember. And I can't wait.