“I Wore White to My Friend’s Wedding”
By: Whitney Johns
“I’ve been a bridesmaid in quite a few weddings, 8 to be exact. Many people look at me with huge eyes and with mouths wide open when I tell them that. I know what they’re thinking:
That must have be SO expensive…
And so time consuming!
I don’t know how you did it…
But I’m okay with it, really. In your 20’s, you go to weddings every weekend, in your 80’s, you go to funerals every weekend. I definitely prefer the first alternative; plus, I truly rejoice in the opportunity to be apart of such a special day for so many of my friends.
So I enjoy being a bridesmaid. I enjoy the bridal showers, the bachelorette festivities, the planning, and the excitement and anticipation that leads up to each wedding day. I enjoy the unique opportunities that arise to serve the bride and her family during the wedding season. I enjoy the ceremony. And, boy, do I enjoy the dancing at the reception! Dancing itself is a great joy, but the amount of joy that is added when two friends make a covenant to become one does something weird to me. That amount of joy in my heart is the kind that makes you forget that your feet hurt. It makes you dance like no one is watching, despite the fact that you don’t (and never will) know how to wobble, juju, or dougie.
Like I said, I enjoy being a bridesmaid for more reasons than one.
And I’ve been one enough times to know the rules:
Don’t cause drama.
Do whatever the bride wants.
Shower the bride with love.
Be ready to respond to any lsat minute crisis situations.
Basically, sacrifice anything and everything that day make sure that the bride has the best day of her life.
But recently, I broke one of the biggest wedding rules…
I wore white to my friend’s wedding.
Okay, I actually wore navy blue. It was a really pretty navy blue bridesmaid dress I might add. Stick with me here.
One of my favorite wedding day moments is when the bridesmaids surround the bride and pray over her before the ceremony starts. It makes for incredibly sweet wedding photos, but a picture can only capture so much. Prayer is a way of welcoming the presence of the Lord and acknowledging His goodness. It’s surrendering the relationship to him and asking for his will to be done in the soon-to-be marriage. It’s thanking Him for his covenant and his promises that are always true. It’s a way to bring peace to the bride in the moments leading up to her union with her groom. It’s a way to honor God in recognizing that marriage is a covenant that reflects Christ’s love for the body of believers. It’s a prayer of thanksgiving for all the good He has done and a prayer of hopeful anticipation for all the good He will do.
So at this particular wedding, just minutes before the ceremony began, we all surrounded the bride in our navy blue dresses and took turns praying for her.
It came to be my turn to pray, and I was silent for a few seconds, trying to take in the incredible reality of speaking to the Creator and sovereign King of the universe. I prayed for the bride, I prayed for the groom, I prayed for the ceremony, I prayed for their future wedding, I prayed for much fruit to come from their marriage.
We continued around the circle until the last person had prayed, and we began to open our eyes and move away from the circle.
“Wait! Wait God! Actually, one more thing!” I said as everyone giggled and moved back into the circle.
God had reminded me of scripture in that moment, and He needed to be praised for it. This wedding was about so much more than we could wrap our minds around.
“God we praise you that today, Emily gets to wear white.”
“God today, Emily is the bride. She gets to wear white. You have allowed her to be clothed in beautiful, perfect, spotless white today as she walks toward her husband to promise impossible promises to him this side of heaven. By your grace, they will be able to fight to keep those promises, as those promises reflect the perfect and grand promises you have made to your children.”
“Even more, God, we praise you today that you have granted it to your children to be clothed in white.”
This prayer came from scripture. This prayer came from Revelation 19:6-8, in which the author is detailing a vision from The Lord about things that will happen in heaven. The long-awaited union of Christ (the Lamb in this verse) in heaven with the children of God is often described in scripture as a marriage celebration.
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like a sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage supper 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.’”
Just as it was granted to Emily to wear white on the day of her wedding, it has been granted to the children of God to be clothed in fine linen, bright and pure on the day of the greatest wedding.
Fine, bright, spotless, white. This clothing is a picture of purity. And despite our wickedness, despite our selfishness, despite our pridefulness, despite our evil nature, the children of God have been granted to be clothed in complete purity.
Clothed in white, despite the filthy and stained rags our sin nature causes us to wear.
This is how I was able to break a major wedding rule. This is how I wore white to my friend’s wedding. This is how I’m able to wear white every day, despite dirtiness I may carry. How does this become “granted” to us though?
Elsewhere, in Revelation 7, we see a picture of the children of God washing their robes white in the blood of Christ.
The blood of the perfect, spotless, holy, righteous Christ is the only thing with the power to wash white the garments of those who sin against a holy God. By Christ’s death and resurrection in front of a multitude of eyewitnesses, he proved he was indeed the Son of God, and furthermore proved that he alone holds the power to defeat sin and death. And he offers this to you.
We know from Romans 3:23 that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” No one wears white on his own. No one is invited to the great marriage of Christ and his church on her own.
But everyone has a great invitation:
Come! Wash your filthy garments white in the blood of Christ! Experience forgiveness! Experience freedom from sin! Drop the heavy weight and baggage that sin has entangled you in! Forget ashamedness! Live in the sweet and undeserved love and freedom of Christ!
Come! Wait in hope for the great marriage supper of Christ the Lamb as his Bride!
Come! Be clothed in white!
In just the same way that earthly weddings bring such joyful anticipation, unique opportunities to serve, beautiful covenant promises of forever, and tremendous celebration, so will the marriage supper of the Lamb be. We wait in great anticipation for this wedding, we seek ways to serve while we wait, we long to be joined in perfect unity, and we tremble with excitement for the great celebrating (and dancing!) that will continue into eternity.
“Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb!”