I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
Beautiful, majestic, exalted, the mountain of the Lord stood. She was the joy of all creation. With citadels high and ramparts wide and all within her at peace, laughter and gladness rang forth through her bright, sunless sky. Behold! From her peaks descended the betrothed. The bride, exquisite, beamed like a star set in the midnight sky. She smelled of cedar and hyssop, of evergreen groves and the midwinter frost. Her devoted bridegroom, adorned in full regalia and decorated with a hole in each hand, eagerly joined her. He smelled warm and sweet—a mix of myrrh, aloe, and cassia. Though the panorama of paradise and myriad upon myriad of angels surrounded them, they held firm each other’s gaze, just as they’d done while apart. Scrupulous preparation had been made for this very hour; the time was no longer nigh, but come.
With the wedding supper of the Lamb, we arrive at the feast to end all feasts. Like the final movement of a symphony where all leitmotifs, in turn, reappear in their most majestic form, every feast we’ve looked at leads to and resurges in this celebration. It is the culmination of the Old Testament’s mandated festivals: our deliverance is complete and desert wandering over, the day of harvest has come, and the perfected are made holy. The feasts of the poets find their full expression here too: it is the Conqueror’s final victory, the thirsty drink from the unending water of life, and Lady Wisdom’s path reaches its end. Prophetic feasts are now fully realized: we are made better than new and all traces of ruin are reversed. The return from exile reaches
a most satisfying conclusion: mourning is never to return. Sin is behind us and can reach no further.
The feasts of the Gospels are brought to fruition here as well: the repentant are welcomed home and cloaked in robes of grace they could never have earned. The last, at last, are first, and the humble, exalted. Jesus once more eats of the Passover meal, because its meaning is fulfilled in this kingdom; his union with his people is complete.
Christ Calls “Come”
So many of our questions come down to this: Will I make it? Will this all work out? Into your captivity, waiting, wilderness, sin, battles, shame, small beginnings, marginalization, backsliding, competition, poverty, disability, fatigue, and persecution Christ calls, “Come.” Our Deliverer says, “Come.”
Our Sustainer says, “Come.”
Our Perfector says, “Come.”
Our Warrior says, “Come.”
Our Thirst Quencher says, “Come.”
Our Wisdom says, “Come.”
Our Hope says, “Come.”
Our Strength says, “Come.”
Our Exalter says, “Come.”
Our Father says, “Come.”
Our Food and Drink says, “Come.”
Come know the fullness of the Bridegroom’s table. Come, taste and see that he is good. Though we come to him empty-handed, we find him ever and always abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. His table is a smorgasbord of grace where we, the beloved, make ourselves at home.
Amid intense trials, God reassured his church he would triumph over evil and that his Son would take his bride. The betrothal period, however dark it may get, would culminate in a rapturous fulfillment of that promise God made in Exodus 6:7 when he assured Moses he’d deliver his people, “I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God.” Revelation 21:3 says, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people and God himself will be with them as their God.’ ” We will enter the incandescent joy of our Lord, our Maker, our Love.
Now may the God who feasts our weary souls with gladness
and unites us together through his Spirit as we eat of one loaf,
restore and keep us
at all times and in every way
by the blood of the eternal covenant,
and bring us safely into his radiant presence,
having withstood the weight of the worry that seeks to break us.
To him be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority
both now and to the day of eternity.
To those loved at a wide table,
he who calls you is faithful;
he will do it.
Grace be with you all.
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Cover image by Nils Stahl.