Do you know you have been proposed to by Jesus? Do you know that if you are a follower of the Lamb you are already his betrothed? Well, you are! The Church is the bride of Christ and Jesus is calling us to be faithful to him!
The Church, as the Bride of Christ, is a bit of an interesting metaphor. It has its roots in the OT prophets who saw the covenant relationship between Yahweh and Israel as like a marriage. This metaphor is not only mentioned here and there, but the entire book of Hosea is dedicated to this metaphor. As a whole, the book uses the covenant of marriage to speak of Israel’s unfaithfulness and Yahweh’s faithfulness. This is depicted through the life of the prophet Hosea and his wife Gomer. God instructs Hosea to marry Gomer even though she is a “promiscuous woman.” Actually, Hosea is instructed to marry her because she is a promiscuous woman. As their marriage unfolds, Gomer proves unfaithful to Hosea, but Hosea is instructed to take her back. This is a living example of Yahweh’s faithfulness to his people in spite of their unfaithfulness. The point of the story, though, is not that it is right to be unfaithful, the point of the story is that God is faithful even when we are not and gives us the opportunity to repent, to return to our God, and the responsibility to be faithful.
This is how the metaphor is used in the NT as well. It speaks of both opportunity and responsibility. The opportunity is unity in a covenant relationship with God and the responsibility is to persevere its faithfulness. The beauty of this is that not only is our maker our covenant partner, but he also prepares us and helps us to be faithful along the way. He comes to us and beckons us to faithfulness.