Summary: What should we do while we wait? How should we wait? What should our lives look like while we wait to be united with Christ? Be the bride. Be prepared. Be a servant. Be persevering.
Everyone is familiar with wedding staples like tossing the bouquet and the first dance, but what about traditions from other countries and cultures?
The Blackening of the Bride: Scotland
The bride and groom are slathered from head to toe in every disgusting substance their friends can get their hands on. Curdled milk, rotten eggs, spoiled curry, fish sauces, mud, flour, sausages, every nasty thing you can imagine. As if that weren’t enough, the couple is then paraded about, with well-wishers making as much noise as possible.
Daur Chick Liver Tradition: Inner Mongolia, China
To select a wedding date, the young couple must take a knife and together slaughter a chick. The date is then divined by the appearance of the chick’s liver. If the liver has an unfortunate appearance, they must keep killing chicks until they find a good one.
Bathroom Moratorium: Tidong community, Indonesia/Malaysia
After the wedding, the bride and groom are not allowed to use the bathroom for three whole days. They cannot leave the house, clear their bowels or urinate. The couple is watched over and are allowed minimal amounts of food and drink. If the custom is not practiced, they believe it will bring bad luck to the couple, with consequences such as a broken marriage, infidelity or death of their children. After three days, the couple is allowed to return to normal life and begin their marriage.
Spitting on the Bride: Massai nation, Kenya
At a wedding ceremony held by the Massai people, the father of the bride blesses his daughter by spitting on her head and her body. She then leaves with her husband and does not look back for fear of turning into stone.
The Kissing Tradition: Sweden
If the groom leaves the room for any reason, all the other men at the wedding are allowed to kiss the bride. The same goes for the groom and female guests if the bride should leave the room.
Shooting the Bride: China
The Yugur people (an ethnic minority group in China) have a custom of the groom shooting three blunted arrows at his bride. He then breaks the arrows and the bow during the wedding ceremony, symbolizing that they will love and live with each other forever.
Guests arrive the night before the wedding, usually at the home of the bride, and break any porcelain object they can get their hands on. This act is thought to bring good luck to the couple. However, they cannot break glass, as it symbolizes happiness. After the porcelain has been broken, the couple cleans it up, which is supposed to teach them that married life will not be easy, but by working together, they can overcome any challenge.
Today we will be taking a look at Revelation chapter 19 and focusing on one particular passage. We will be looking at verses 6-9 which describe for us the “wedding supper of the Lamb.” There are not any specific wedding traditions mentioned in the passage, but the passage does give us a look at the second coming of Jesus Christ which is described as a wedding. We are also going to look at what various people and groups do while they wait for a wedding service.
“Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
We find in verse 6 that a chorus of voices begins to speak. There are so many voices shouting and speaking and cheering that the Apostle John describes it like rushing waters and thunder. If you have ever been to a crowded theater or a sports arena, you can imagine what John was hearing. The voices are all talking about God and talking to Him. As the passage about the “wedding supper of the Lamb” opens, our thoughts are immediately directed towards God the Father with the word “Hallelujah.” The phrase Hallelujah means “praise God” and we are directed to give honor and praise and worthiness to God because He “reigns.”
What does that mean exactly?
As Christians, we understand that God is sovereign and that He is ultimately and strongly in charge over all that exists. God is King of the Universe. God is the President/CEO/COO of everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen. We also understand that God is eternal and He is very much the Foundation and Creator of our lives. We understand that God’s ways and His character are the standards for goodness, right, justice, evil, love, forgiveness, etc. and He is the final Judge and Authority about these things and about our lives.
Psalm 93:1-2 says, “The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed in majesty and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved. 2 Your throne was established long ago; you are from all eternity.”