He stopped once again in front of the burnished gold mirror which stood against one wall of his dressing chamber. He was dressed in his most perfect finery and perfumed with frankincense and myrrh. His garments were the color of new-fallen-snow, his belt was pure scarlet. The robe that cascaded behind him was clasped to his broad shoulders by two huge rubies and flowed in folds of royal purple edged in gold. His black hair and beard had been combed and oiled and perfumed with spikenard and the curls of his head were garlanded by the jewel-encrusted circlet of gold he wore as a crown.
“Finally”, he thought to himself; “finally, his joy would be complete for this was the day that he would be wed; this is the day that she would come to him.”
Leaving the chamber, he made his way out into the hallway, and down the corridor into the atrium which lead to the King’s Gardens. The ornate double doors were open into the garden and the aroma of fruits and sweet spices wafted into the atrium and into the connecting corridors, reception and drawing-rooms.
She clasped the alabaster caske against her breast as she looked into the polished glass mirror. Her heart cried within her, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.” (Isaiah 61: 10) Finally, she was here – and He was just outside these doors, waiting for her. The music would resound and the air would be filled with the sights, sounds and joy of celebration. She felt like her heart would burst with anticipation and joy and thankfulness. How overwhelming it all seemed that soon, she would be wed to the Prince of her greatest desire. He who her soul had longed for, he whose grace and majesty and loving-kindness called her and even now prepared her in a raiment of fine gold needlework, and would bring her before him with gladness and rejoicing. Finally, she was here, and he was even now, waiting for her to come.
She carefully placed the caske of oil in the pocket of her gown. “I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me”, (Songs 7:10) and with that thought in her heart, she went out of her bridal closet into the corridor which led to the King’s Garden. The time was drawing nigh and a walk among the lilies and along the pathways would soothe her before the ceremony.
He had walked out into the garden along the pathway that wound its way between the beautiful pomegranate trees, which stood sentinel along with stately oak, luxuriant laurels, tall myrtle and beech trees. Aromas of calamus, spikenard, saffron and cinnamon filled the air along with the sweet and tender fragrance of the Rose of Sharon and Lily of the Valley. A carpet of crocus and every kind of wild flower grew on either side of the path which led to the woodlands stretched out in front of him, mile after mile on all sides with their varied hues of green, scarlet and gold melting insensibly into the blue of the distant mountains and sea. Birds sang their songs of great jubilation as the sound of the brook bubbled in the background. The sky above was dressed for the occasion in two shades of blue; whispers of clouds danced along the cerulean expanse like sweet ballerinas on a softly-lit stage.
He came to rest now on one of the many finely carved benches which were found throughout the garden. Raising his head, he said aloud, “Oh, my Father, Finally, she is come! Finally the day has come when I might present her to you in all her beauty and purity. Greatly have I desired this day! Thank you for this feast day, this day of celebration. My heart wells up with joy as I finally am able to bring her forth unto you. . . Finally!”
As he rose to return, he heard a slight rustle and looking up the pathway, he could see through the lacelike tree branches that she was walking toward him. The turn of her countenance betrayed the fact that she was engrossed in the surrounding peace and beauty, enthralled with the wildlife, the sights and sounds of the garden, the fragrance of this place the cooing of doves and the tiny sparrows that trilled their songs among the tree branches.
Inexpressible joy, abundant thankfulness and excitement overcame him as he began walking toward her. His heart raced, “Yes, here she was – finally! She was indeed all fair, his dearest love, she was radiant!”
She was arrayed in a magnificent gown of ivory brocade, richly embroidered with ophirian gold, the most precious gold available. Her hair was partially caught up and secured with a large ivory comb and the curls and braids which were still loose hung down her back like a veil of spun gold. Her skin was pure and silken and her lips the color of rosebuds which seemed to match the blush on her cheek. Her neck, long and stately embellished with a collar of pearls set with sapphires.
She looked up as he rounded a bend in the pathway and saw him for the first time.
The long, black eyelashes framing her eyes, which were somehow both the color of daylight and the color of night, glittered as the sunlight caught the glistening residue of latent teardrops. Her eyes said so much, and held such depth and even now, were steadfastly fixed on him as he strode nearer, clothed in majesty and honor, smiling at her, his own eyes full of joyful tears. “Finally, oh Finally! She was here – he was here and she was standing in his presence; He whom her soul had longed after for what seemed an eternity.”
Still smiling, he reached out to her, and at that very moment, she suddenly realized that she stood in his presence. The realization overwhelmed her as her knees gave way and in the pathway before him she knelt, her eyes cast to the ground she whispered, “My Lord and My King”. Remembering the caske, she drew it forth from the pocket of her gown and in one motion, she broke it releasing the exotic fragrance into the air, and pouring it over his feet, she wept fresh tears of joy and thankfulness as she drew her plaited hair across his feet, all the time, overcome by his presence, and overjoyed in his love.
There was a moment of silence and then she felt his hands on her head. The next second, his left hand was beneath her chin as he raised her face to look into his tear stained eyes.
A mixture of humility and overwhelming joy shot through her as he smiled at her and simply said, “Finally, you are here and my joy is complete. I have loved you with an everlasting love and you are mine. The winter is past, the rain is over and gone, flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing is come, the fig tree puts forth her fruit and the vine with tender grapes gives forth its aroma. Arise my Love, my fair one and come away.” (Song of Solomon 2).
Taking her hands, he raised her and when he did, she realized that on her head he had placed a crown. The crown was set not only with pearl and sapphire but also with ruby emerald, jasper, diamond and topaz.
In complete and utter joy they stood together, looking into each others eyes. Finally, the day had come and with rejoicing, The Bridegroom in his glory and his Bride, without spot or wrinkle, turned again to the path which would lead them once more through the atrium, past the banqueting hall and into the gilded throne room.
The crimson banquet room, resplendent in beauty, with its blue-colored silk drapes embroidered in silver thread, porcelain cobalt vases and tapestries of brilliance had already been lined with tables, now draped with finely embroidered linen and set with gold and silver and crystal. The feast was even now being prepared, and the time had come for the wedding ceremony to take place.
Through the ornate doors they walked, she leaning on his right arm. The Throne Room was ablaze with light. The walls and ceilings were decorated with numerous molded compositions of flower garlands, shells, depictions of animals and marble bas-reliefs. The exquisite parquet floor and carved oak doors added to the festive appearance of the room. The throne was set high up and garnet-colored carpet flowed from the throne itself, down the stairs and across the sweep of marble at their feet. The sounds of trumpets rang out as they entered the room and the sounds of praise filled the air as the choir of angels gathered ‘round the throne began to sing out “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lamb.”
The Bridegroom escorted his purest Love across the room, along the expanse of red carpet and up the stairs to the very throne of His Father.
Hallelujahs which had resonated throughout the palace ceased and the room was cloaked in silence as he spoke…..“My Father, Finally, she is come. . . “
"As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you." Isaiah 62:5
“The king’s daughter is all glorious within; her clothing is of wrought gold. She shall be brought unto the king in raiment of needlework; ….in her beautiful robes she is led to the king, with gladness, rejoicing and with enthusiastic procession, shall they be brought, they shall enter into the King’s palace…..” (Psalms 45)
Jesus is coming to earth again; what if it were today?
Coming in power and love to reign; what if it were today?
Coming to claim His chosen Bride, all the redeemed and purified,
Over this whole earth scattered wide; what if it were today?
Glory, glory! Joy to my heart 'twill bring.
Glory, glory! When we shall crown Him King.
Glory, glory! Haste to prepare the way;
Glory, glory! Jesus will come some day.
Satan's dominion will then be over, O that it were today!
Sorrow and sighing shall be no more, O that it were today!
Then shall the dead in Christ arise, caught up to meet Him in the skies,
When shall these glories meet our eyes? What if it were today?
Faithful and true would He find us here if He should come today?
Watching in gladness and not in fear, if He should come today?
Signs of His coming multiply; morning light breaks in eastern sky.
Watch, for the time is drawing nigh; what if it were today?
(Leila Naylor Morris)