I have done my share of weddings over the years. Working with engaged couples anticipating marriage is both exciting and awkward. It is in some ways a difficult time for the betrothed because they are committed to one another in a manner different from just dating, but are not yet in a marriage relationship. The same is true for the church. She is betrothed to the Lord Jesus. They are both quite committed to each other. But the marriage hasn’t yet happened.
The kingdom of God has been inaugurated, but not yet consummated. That is a fancy way of saying that God’s rule and reign has come to this earth, but its fulfillment has not yet occurred. This time between the two advents of Christ, his incarnation and his coming again, is a weird and awkward time of engagement where we are trying to figure out how to live in the world but not of it. But there is a time coming, at the consummation of the ages, when Christ will return to take his bride. It is then the church will celebrate in a great wedding feast. “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign forever and ever.”
Just as marriage is designed for permanence, so our union with Jesus shall last forever. His reign will never end. Christ’s rule will be complete and extend over all the earth. But until then we are to persevere with patience and fidelity to our Lord Jesus, who loved us and gave himself up for us. Let this truth shape your life today and always.
Loving Lord Jesus, I praise you for your initiating a beachhead of grace on this earth through your coming to us. I look expectantly for your return. May I found faithful when you come again. Amen.