Growing in Resilience
Day 22, Read Isaiah 61
Reflection: Comfort Us, based on Isaiah 61:10, NRSV
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Comfort us who mourn
When one suffers, we all suffer
Hear our lament for the ways we hurt one another and in turn hurt you
Our words weapons instead of life
Hear our wails for all shattered by sin and fear and shame
Hear our groans for all bent low beneath watching and waiting
for another in pain
or their own
Hear our tears for all captive to
Hear our grieving for the powerful misusing their influence
The Forgotten… forgotten
Comfort us who mourn
Comfort us in your coming
In your deliverance, there is a crown for our ashes
The oil of gladness pouring across tender brows till it pools in our clavicles
In the nakedness of our need you clothe us
Garments of Salvation
Robes of Righteousness
Jewels of our Belovedness
You dress us in your Victory
Wrapping us in your Joy and Delight
Swaddling us in your Promises made real
The Wedding Vows
I, _________________, give myself to you to be your husband/wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others until we are parted by death, recognizing the promise of life everlasting and love everlasting. This is my solemn vow.
The Church as Bride of Christ: Problems with metaphor
Difficult for those who’ve been disappointed by marriage – Never married, divorced, betrayal, abusive marriage
Difficult for men to relate to “bride”
The phrase “Bride of Christ” not found in the scriptures but there are plenty of passages which use the metaphor
All metaphors break down. Bride of Christ remains a powerful reminder of our relationship to one another and to Christ
Read Ephesians 5:21-32 NRSV
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Be subject = Voluntary, free choice, submission, our power under the authority of another, cooperating, collaborating
Ephesians 5-6 describes the mutual submission of husbands and wives, children and parents, slaves and masters
Previous verses discuss being filled with the Holy Spirit by singing Psalms, Hymns, Spiritual Songs & giving thanks to God the Father in name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Trinity, the fullness of God, First Creed)
Out of Reverence to Christ- We submit to Christ as His followers out of reverence for Christ first submitting to us. Jesus made the ultimate submission in his life, death, and resurrection.
Notice verses 22-27
The Love of our Lord Jesus Christ is deep, pure, sacrificial
Look what Jesus gave up to make us his own. Compare with Philippians 2. Poor, homeless, misunderstood, glory to humility, abused and tortured, obedient to the point of death, even on a cross
Jesus making us his own- making us holy, set apart, like in marriage the couple is set apart only for each other
Vs. 26 Cleansing with the washing of water by the word
The powerful presence of Jesus in the sacrament of baptism and in his Holy Word- Cleansing, new birth, water for growth, Jesus’ tears, Jesus washing feet
Vs. 27 Jesus presents the church to himself in splendor radiant
Remember, you are both beloved and the light of the world. Jesus, the Bridegroom, presents us like a Bride unstained, unwrinkled, unblemished, innocent which literally means unwounded. By his stripes, we are healed. He took the wounds that we might be unwounded.
28 In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church.
We leave our earthly labels and tribes to be at one with Christ
This isn’t head knowledge, it’s down to the bone, the blood, skin in the game, an intimate union
This is a relationship of devotion, fidelity, one spouse, one Lord. Jesus first loved us that he may be our first love
Let us, the Church, the Bride, recommit to Christ the Bridegroom, using the Wedding Vows
We give ourselves to you Jesus, to be your Bride, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, forsaking all others, knowing we are not parted by death, recognizing the promise of life everlasting and love everlasting. This is our solemn vow.
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Sean and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9:00 am or 10:30 am, or join us live on our Facebook page at 9:00 am Sundays or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.