Formality, in our culture, has fallen on hard times. It probably was inevitable as letters have morphed into emails, notes into tweets. But hearing that one young lady broke her engagement in a text message reminded me that there may be elements of societal elegance and grace that can rightly be mourned and even missed.

Though formal invitations have become “invites,” one convention we’ve retained, probably because it is an abbreviation, is “RSVP” and its redundant suburban cousin, “Please RSVP.” When we invite someone to our wedding, we expect a response.

God is no different. He has planned a celebration for His Son and His Bride, and has spared no expense. Typified in the very first couple, Christ’s love meant laying down His life for His Bride (Ephesians 5:25-27) in order to “make her holy. . . and to present her to Himself without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.”

Revelation 21 pictures this ultimate wedding, with the Bride, The New Jerusalem, God’s people perfectly arrayed:

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them.
They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.
He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain,
for the old order of things has passed away.”

The Lord God follows that picture with His ultimate, formal invitation (Revelation 22:17), “The Spirit and the Bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

All things are ready. The reception will be regal, the honeymoon, forever.



“Father, grant us a vision of your great love for us, and allow us to bask in that grace.
Then, enable us to share the Gospel invitation with all nations,
for the glory and fame of your Son. Amen.”

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