A faithful bride

We see the sad picture of unfaithfulness everywhere, so much so that I’m not sure that faithfulness is even expected anymore. It may be wanted, but most just don’t expect it. What we are witnessing in our day – and we would agree with Solomon that it is nothing new – is a world that gives in to sin and lowers expectations.

We don’t expect someone to stay with a company or a school or a team when there is more money to be made elsewhere. We don’t expect couples to stay married when there is someone better (supposedly), whether they are available or not. We don’t even expect church members to remain at a church when there’s a more exciting, youth-oriented, upbeat, lively, and, yes, RELEVANT (and often law-driven and gospel-less) church down the road.

Our Lord calls on us to be faithful. But how can we be? Aren’t we naturally geared toward faithlessness? God has given us his law, an echo of the old covenant he made with Israel, to show us as he showed them that our faithfulness can never be adequate. We must give up on such ideas.

The Almighty married Israel. He was a faithful husband to an unfaithful bride. But now he has married us under a new covenant. We are the bride of Christ. This covenant is not one of conditions to be met by a struggling spouse, but it is one of unconditional love and forgiveness. God’s faithfulness in Jesus overcomes our faithlessness. God’s faithfulness in Jesus gives strength to our hearts to be faithful, first and foremost in seeking God’s mercy in Christ.

The picture of Christ as the groom and the Church as his bride is rich and beautiful and is sprinkled throughout the divine pages of Scripture.

31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
    “when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
    and with the people of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
    I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
    to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
    though I was a husband to them,”
declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
    after that time,” declares the Lord.
“I will put my law in their minds
    and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.
34 No longer will they teach their neighbor,
    or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’
because they will all know me,
    from the least of them to the greatest,”
declares the Lord.
“For I will forgive their wickedness
    and will remember their sins no more.” (Jeremiah 31:31-34)


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