I was just reading…actually (as opposed to just thinking)…Ted Dekker’s “Bride Collector”…and in an exchange between the wack-job and the good-guy FBI agent…the dialogue…combined with a pamphlet a well-meaning Christian had given a friend of mine this week…made something “click”…and now I’m clicking about it…
What really gets me is that all of this stuff is just so stinkin’ obvious! Why! Why did I not notice this before!? All of us have fallen prey to the urge to introduce our single friends to people we feel would make them a good mate. We all get that “matchmaking” urge and some of us have even been “matchmade”! And, some maybe wish that someone WOULD introduce them to someone we could fall in love with. So, we all have had some kind of experience with this “concept”!
OK…”We” are the “Bride of Christ”…right?
God is love and loves us and desires to live with us in heaven for all eternity.
“Your sins have made a separation between you and your God” Isaiah something… (We n’ God…we’re “broke up”)
Jesus came to save us from our sins…so that we an be reconciled with God.
“He has given us the ministry of reconciliation”…2 Cor. something…
(God wants to get back together with us!)
THAT MEANS that God wants us to “matchmake“. He wants to be introduced to the world so that He can enter into the most intimate of all relationships in the universe a human can enter into with Him!
It’s all about “hookin’ up”…
We the Bride…hookin’ up up with the Bridegroom…the Prince…Jesus…
So, how…in the literal world…do we “Hook up”?
How do we “fall in love”?
Imagine you’re single…and “A prince” is attempting to “hook up” with you…because he wants you for his bride…he wants to enter into the most intimate of all relationships with you and live with you forever!
Now…Imagine this approach…
Some random guy Steve comes over to talk to you. You’ve never met Steve before or maybe you just don’t know him well at all. Either will suit. Steve tells you, “My friend, Bob, he’s in love with you.”
“Oh?” you reply, weirded out, “I don’t know this Bob guy. How can he be in love with me?”
“He’s had his eye on you for years now.” Steve winks.
“Ohhh kaaaay…” you reply weirded out yet more.
“Really, he’s totally in love with you. He’d give his life to be with you.”
Your brow furrows and you begin to think Steve’s off his rocker.
“Only trouble is, is you.” Steve says glumly.
“Me?” you wonder if this conversation is worth continuing? Where is your cell phone in case you need 911?
“Yeah. He can’t be with you because you, well, ever since you were born you’ve been offensive to him. You have offended him countless times. In fact, you pretty much live a life of offense and he can’t really have that in his home.”
“Oh…ohhh kay…I thought you said he was like, in love with me?”
“Well, he is! He is! He’d die for you! But, yes, everything about you, the way you live, you offend him and…disgust him.”
“I disgust him?”
“With the way you live, yes. So much so that, well, frankly he can’t even look at you.”
You check and yes, your cell phone is handy. You look at it as tho’ checking for text messages. God help you.
“He doesn’t like that thing, either.” Steve says looking sorta’ prudish.
Puzzled, you ask, “What thing? My cell phone?”
“No. He disapproves of electronic things. And, while I’m at it I suppose I should point out that he doesn’t like how you do your hair, and he’s ESPECIALLY offended by those piercings you have.”
“So, I’ve never met this, this, Bob character…but…he’s in love with me, but, can’t even look at me because I’m so offensive and disgusting.” you’re trying to make sense of this but it’s not happening.
“Yes!” Steve says almost beaming. Steve is excited because it seems like you’re getting it, then adds. “He also is really offended by your clothing.”
“What?” you look down at your clothes, “I spent a lot of money on these clothes! They’re from a very expensive store! I worked hard to buy this stuff!”
Steve just sits there shaking his head sorta’ in a smug way as if to say, “Sorry lady, it’s gotta go!”
You’ve had enough! “Well, I think I probably need to get going, Steve…”
“No! Wait! See, you can still get married to Bob if you just, you know, stop being, well, you, and apologize to him for all the offensive things you’ve done to him!”
“I’ve never even met him!” you say.
“It doesn’t matter. You still have offended him and owe him an apology. He will need to ‘chastise’ you so to speak also. He’s a really great guy you just gotta hook up with him, really!”
“Wait! Wait!” you put your hand up in the air, “Chastise me?”
“Well, yes. If he loves you he’ll put a good hurtin’ on ya once n’ a while if you get out of line or offend him again.”
“Uh, huh. OK.” you scratch your head. “So, he’s in love with me, I need to hook up with him, and he would die for me but before he’ll even look at me, I have to apologize to him for offending him and basically stop being me? And, once we’re together sometimes he’ll give me a good whackin’ to set me straight on things?”
“Yes! Isn’t this good news? He loves you so much he’s willing to forgive you for all the things that you have done to offend him and the things you do that make him sick! And, because he truly loves you he’ll hurt you once in a while to make sure you don’t offend him!”
You start thinking about all the things that make you “you”. You start thinking about the things you like and the people you know, and, hey! You recycle! You have even adopted a cat from the SPCA! You shoveled the old widow lady’s driveway last winter once, even! What is it that this “Bob” finds so…offensive and disgusting about your life?
“These things,” you shake your head in bewilderment, “that I have been doing since I was born…have offended him?”
“Yes! Exactly!” Steve is just radiant. He can’t wait to tell all his friends about how he got to talk to you about this!
“Like, when I was born, he didn’t like it that I, what? Pooped my diaper?”
“Well, I can’t really explain that, I don’t really understand that, but, just what you need to focus on is that Bob loves you and wants to marry you! And, all you have to do is give up being who you have always been and he’ll find you acceptable enough to marry then and you’ll know he truly loves you because he’ll hurt you when you do wrong things! And, once you’re in this relationship you can never get out of it! Isn’t this great!”
You just look at him in a little bit of stunned silence.
“Oh, and I guess I should mention that if you don’t do this, he’ll kill you.”
“Kill me!?” your eyes almost pop out.
“Well, not so much kill as torture for the rest of your life, with all the other girls who have declined his offer.” Steve smiles. Steve is so excited that you really seem to be getting it.
Now you know Steve’s wacked and all you really wanna do is get far far away from Steve and you hope you never have a run-in with this “Bob” guy, if he even actually exists! “Steve, how do you know this?” you ask.
“I read it in this book! Here!” he proudly holds up a 5 pound book with many worn pages. “You should read a copy! I read mine EVERY DAY!”
“Yeahhhh…well…Thanks for sharing with me, uh, Steve, but, I need to run, I mean, go now…” You politely thank Steve for the information and leave quickly and are convinced that Steve needs meds and you think that perhaps a restraining order is in order.
So…do YOU want to hook up with Bob? Do you want to read Steve’s book? Do you believe such a weird man as Bob could really even be real???
Really, church! You could argue some of my points but, come on. We tell people “The Good News” that Jesus loves them by telling them that they’ve offended God since birth just by the fact that they are human…that the way they are now, how they live, the music they’ve grown up with, their friends, their political beliefs, their EVERYTHING offends Him and that He can’t even look at them ’cause He can’t look upon sin…and that if they don’t apologize for all this that He will destroy them forever in torment in Hell!!! That’s what we tell the world no matter how “softly”or “wisely” we try to put it THAT is how we introduce the most awesome loving beautiful Being in the world to people!!
Is this the way we introduce our friends to imperfect people they’d want to enter into a marriage relationship with?
Do we have a single friend and find a single possible mate and go up to them and tell them all the person’s worst qualities? Do we look at a potential mate and think, “Oh, well, she’d be great if only she weren’t like this or like that”…and then open the introduction with telling that person that if they changed “this or that” that your friend would be interested in them???
What’s the best way actually to introduce people? Blind dates? No! An ACTUAL introduction!
HOW do we introduce people to God ACTUALLY?
We are His hands and feet…
We “feed His sheep”…
Do these “harder” aspects of the relationship have any place ever? Of course they do! I’m sure some of you more “religious” people would think I’ve gone off to “Light and Fluffy-ville” or something, but, come on! Romans 1 says the truth is evident everywhere! The way we’ve been created tells us the truth! And, you would NEVER introduce two HUMANS the way we introduce Jesus to people!
You know, you didn’t ask your current mate to wipe your bottom on your first date, did you? (That’d be an interesting story if you did!) Someday that may be part of your relationship and it won’t send them running in fear because you will have built up to that. After the introduction in a relationship, the entire relationship is about learning about the other person…what they like and what they don’t like, and if you LOVE them you will be making adaptations the rest of your life OUT OF LOVE for them…not out of fear…The hard truths about the relationship need to come after a relationship is there. After there is some love.
Getting straight to the hard serious stuff or getting too intimate on the 1st date is sometimes called rape and is unwelcome and not enjoyed by most women and therefore is unlawful in most countries.
Church think about HOW you would LITERALLY introduce a man you highly esteem to a woman you’d like to see take interest in him…just think about how you’d do that…Or, think about how YOU would want to be introduced if you were seeking a mate…and start introducing Christ to people THAT WAY…