Weddings are one of the most celebrated events in Churches and families. It is obvious because they are beautiful events. When you walk into a wedding ceremony, especially in the Christian context, you notice the groom, his best man and the other men on one side waiting forthe bride and the bridesmaids. This is usually beautiful. They all come in their beautiful attires while lovely music is playing. If you are in Zambia you even hear what we call utupundu coming from especially older women. It’s just lovely.
However, in almost all the weddings I have attended I have noticed one act which has raised a question. Maybe it’s my lack of understanding or appreciating the way things have been done or maybe it is just a preference I have. However, when you look at it from a biblical point of view, I think I have a point which every Christian wedding must consider putting into practice.
If you look into the Bible carefully you will notice that we are told that Christ is the bridegroom while we the Church are his bride. Before I pose my question let me give you some Scripture references. In Philippians 3:20 it says, "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.” In 1 John 3:2 we are told, “Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.” You notice that in both verses and even in many other passages which I have not quoted, there is anticipation for the coming of Christ. There is a sense of longing for the groom to come and get his bride. In Philippians 3:20 the phrase that suggests this is “we await a Saviour,” while in 1 John 3:2 it is the phrase “when he appears.” It is clear then that the Church eagerly awaits the coming of the bridegroom, Jesus Christ.
My question, then, is that why does the bridegroom in our weddings have to wait for the bride to come and not the other way round?
This is not to say that she cannot come into the ceremony alone. She can do that but not for the groom to be the one waiting for her. I believe for us to give a proper biblical picture the bride must wait for the groom to appear. She can come in alone and let all the people stand to welcome her and the like but the groom must not be there while she arrives. He must find her waiting for him. Maybe my thinking is wrong. I stand to be corrected.