In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (Jn. 14:2)
Jesus speaks of the Galilean wedding customs, easily understood by the disciples, foreign to today’s Bride of Christ. A wedding consisted of three phases: 1) When a young boy, the groom’s father would arrange an engagement, often using a matchmaker; 2) Years later, the couple would exchange vows at the betrothal ceremony and another waiting period followed; 3) The marriage ceremony, consummation, and the marriage supper commenced. At the betrothal, or engagement, the groom tells the bride, “I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you.” The couple are now legally married and a one year waiting period begins, the bride preparing for reunion with her husband, the husband preparing a place for his bride. She returns to her father’s home and takes a cleansing bath to symbolize a separation from her former single life to married life. She then begins preparing herself for the wedding ceremony—selecting fabric for her wedding dress, keeping her lamp filled with oil. She will be prepared for her groom when he returns to her, usually in the night. Meanwhile, the groom goes back to his father’s house to build on a new room for himself and his bride. At times, he sends gifts to her, reminding her of his love. When his work is finished, his father tells him it is time to return to his bride, to blow the shofar, to consummate the marriage, and begin the marriage supper celebration.
We are the Bride of Christ. While we wait for His return, we prepare ourselves. Our Bridegroom tells us how to prepare: Upon acceptance of Jesus’ invitation to salvation, we immerse ourselves in a cleansing bath through baptism (I Pet. 3:21). We please our Bridegroom when we conduct our lives according to His instructions in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7). We are faithful to Him when we direct our love to Him and to others (Matt. 22:37-39). He showed us how to live. He showed us how to love. He showed us that love costs. He showed us that we are of great value to Him. He showed us that we, too, will carry our cross until He returns to take us home with Him.
What are you doing while you wait for His return? Your Bridegroom is preparing a place for you. Will you be faithful to Him as you wait for His return? He is faithful to you. Are you preparing for the day when “In mansions of glory and endless delight, I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright.”