“I am dark but lovely.” Song of Songs 1:5
I love to officiate weddings because engagement is such a beautiful picture of what is happening on planet earth right now. Jesus says: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and we will sup together.” (Revelation 3:20) Jesus’ knock is His proposal to the human race today.
When Paul gives the original marriage text of a man leaving his father and his mother to be joined to his wife, and the two becoming one he gives this explanation, “This is a mystery, but I speak of the relationship of Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:32) Every earthly wedding is pointing to another wedding; the wedding feast of the Lamb. Right now, everyone who has said “yes” to Jesus is engaged to Him and called to be part of that eternal partnership.
The reason I preach the gospel at weddings is that many people who don’t regularly come to a church assume God’s not interested in them, and nothing could be farther from the truth. They don’t feel like they’re “the type” of person Jesus loves because of sin they’ve committed or shame they’re carrying or because they haven’t been to church lately. On a mission trip, I gave the example of a $20 bill to demonstrate our value before God. First I held up a crisp $20 bill and asked how much it was worth. Then I stepped on it leaving a footprint. “Now how much is it worth?” I asked. Then I crumbled it up in my fist and threw it away. When I found where it had gone, I picked it up, unwrinkled it, and asked for a third time, “How much is it worth now?”
When people betray us, abuse us, or belittle us, it’s easy to feel we have less value. When we sin against others and against God and experience the shame and regret of having done things we can’t take back, we naturally feel devalued. But before God we’re like that $20 bill. Nothing we’ve done, or had done to us makes God love us less.
We are dark, but lovely to Him. You are the one He desires and He is knocking. He’s knocking through pain, through beauty, through sin you can’t conquer on your own… even through weddings, church services, and weekly devotionals! But no one gets engaged just by someone asking; we need to say “yes.” We need to open the door by saying from our heart, “Jesus, come in, love me, wash me, and make me who You want me to be.”