I began a journey about ten years ago. It was a spiritual journey that culminated in a quiet moment within my university’s chapel. I had followed this deep calling in my life that led me to Jesus and to a life devoted to his way and ministry. I was mastering the spiritual life at break-neck speed. My devotional life rocked. I had read through most of the Bible a few times. And I kind of sneered when my pastor’s wife lamented in one Bible study that it would take her a whole life to learn intimacy with God. I wondered why I was flying so high. Perhaps God had greater things in store for me.
So there I was at our university’s chapel altar. I was kneeling alone late one night. The stained glass windows were dancing with shadows of flickering candles. I was deep in prayer. On the floor in front of me lay my graduation ring. A few minutes prior, I had taken it off my finger and set it before the Lord. Internally I prayed this prayer: Lord let me be married to you.” Somehow over the course of a few years, I had intuited a long-standing Christian image. Intimacy with the Father was something like a great marriage. It was the height of my early devotional life. I was on fire. I loved God and wanted to know him more.
The early Christians, following the lead of Jesus’ parables and through his other teachings, began very early thinking of the church as the bride of Christ.
2 Corinthians 11.1 “I hope you will put up with me in a little foolishness. Yes, please put up with me! I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him”