Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)
TITLE: The Wedding Dress
By Helen Murray
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Ecstatic, with elegant, fluid motion she glides to the bridal dressing chamber. Barely is she able to lift her eyes to take in the vision that awaits. This dress has been prepared by her beloved, because her own poverty had nothing to offer. The groom has no shortage, and the miracle is that He has recognized her through all her vile filthiness and ghastly habitat, had faith in her, and indeed convinced her of His love. She had been living in His outer courts since the engagement, hardly able to realize who she now is, dignified by His love, arrested by His sweetness, dwarfed by His power, yet freshly alive and beautified by His presence, His gifts, the beauty preparations provided for His bride alone. She hardly knew who she was any more – certainly not the gutter creature of the past – yet not entirely aware of the powers invested in her by His insignia.
The betrothal had been a long process. Everlastingly thankful was her powerful emotion, as she considered the journey. Mostly it was the story of His doings.
Firstly there had been the Christmas cards which nobody could read. Well, almost nobody. They are now inscribed deeply into her spirit.
“Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given.”
“He shall be called a Nazarene.”
“Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.”
“He was cut off from the land of the living.”
“Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.”
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah….out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting .“
There had been thousands of those Christmas cards, and every one was to her now like a breath of life. Her heart fed on them constantly, for they whispered to her of her love.
They had initiated the great betrothal process, followed by her first meeting of the betrothed, laden with gifts.
First there was the gift of blood and baptismal death, as He sacrificed His body for hers, for surely she had been the one who deserved to die.
Next had come the gift of resuscitation which He had called “Holy Spirit”, to register the birth and first breath of the bride, and to sustain her life and annoint her immaculate beauty until the day of the wedding.
Finally, today, here she is, looking at the wedding dress prepared for her, its exquisite grace beyond the capacity of description. Her heart takes her into a swoon as she thinks of His card, “Behold, you are fair, my love…. Your lips are like a strand of scarlet and your mouth is lovely.” Her mouth had been full of blasphemy and unbelief, but the sight of Him, and the sound of His holy voice, had melted all those memories away, leaving her gasping with love.
She had sent Him a card.
“Awake, O north wind, and come, O south! Blow upon my garden, that its spices may flow out. Let my beloved come to His garden and eat its pleasant fruits.”
In this way she had embraced the divine romance presented so ardently before her. The scent of His presence was, after that, forever in her nostrils, forever proclaiming His love, forever drawing her closer in to the royal estate He wished to bestow upon her.
Radiating joy through her tears, she steps into the glorious creation, the wedding dress He had prepared for her, every exquisite stitch detailing the longings and passion of their pure love.
Today He comes!
Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. Isaiah 9:6
He shall be called a Nazarene Matthew. 2:23
He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Isaiah 53:4
He was cut off from the land of the living. Isaiah 53:8b
Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. Daniel 12:3
Your maker is your husband. Isaiah 54:5
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah….out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting Micah 5:2
Behold, you are fair, my love…. Your lips are like a strand of scarlet and your mouth is lovely. Song of Solomon 4:3.
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