The door opens slowly as the anxious groom sees his bride-to-be adorned in her white wedding gown for the first time.
A classic moment.
Everyone stands, and most eyes are on the bride entering the room, but mine are on the groom. Anxious to see his first reaction, I am unaware of the eyes assessing me.
I only care about his.
Seeing him through a veil of white, I am in a blur. It all seems so surreal.
Words spoken, songs sung, promises made, rings exchanged, and we are now, “man and wife”. The pastor (my future father-in-law) says, “You may kiss your bride.”
And he lifts the veil.
One of the most romantic gestures of all time, removing the veil that covers a bride’s face carries a rich tradition that symbolizes a hidden treasure being revealed. Promises of loyalty, “’til death do us part.”
In Judaism, the groom places the veil over his bride,
“…making an implicit promise to clothe and protect her”. “By covering her face, the groom recognizes that he his marrying the bride for her inner beauty; while looks will fade with time, his love will be everlasting.” ~~Wikipedia
Oh my goodness, how that definition melts my romantic heart!
This long-standing tradition can represent many things–from a bride covering her face as a symbol of her purity, to a black veil worn by a grieving widow.
In the Bible, the veil is mentioned in reference to the temple, women and men veiling their faces for modesty and practical reasons, and Moses veiling his face after being in God’s presence.
In 2 Corinthians, the apostle Paul is writing to the church in Corinth to encourage them. His second letter to the Corinthians was personal. He had visited these believers in Corinth, and he is passionately calling for them to let their lives be a living testimony to the truth of the gospel. So much of the early church focused on the law, religious activity and human tradition. (sound familiar?) Paul wanted these believers to understand that their very lives were a reflection of the God they served.
More than just religious duty, Christianity goes beyond what we see on the surface. Because we have been given a treasure [Ch.4, v.7] (which is the gospel, or good news of Jesus), “Christ’s love compels us…” [Ch. 5, v.14] to tell others about Him and to live a life that would honor Him in every way. Not just what we do, but who we are; more than our actions of religiosity, but an attitude of humility and love.
These verses speak of a veil that lies over the hearts of those who haven’t put their FAITH in Jesus to save them. Verse 16 says, “…but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed”. Chapter 4 goes on to clarify, “…the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
The Bible often talks of “The Light”. Light shines in the darkness. Light reveals Truth.
And we are to reflect that light.
I can’t help but remember a song from my childhood:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!”
I’m just betting that little ditty will be stuck in your mind today, and maybe–just maybe it will serve as a reminder for all of us of the truth behind it:
“We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV**
**If you are following my Scripture Challenge, this is the verse I am memorizing in 2 Corinthians. Won’t you join me?