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It probably looked weird to everyone in the pews, but I’ve never concerned myself too much with looking weird.  It isn’t everyday that you see a groom with his back to the aisle as he waits for the bride to enter.  You see, when my wife and I got married, we did the whole “we can’t see each other before the ceremony” bit.   I guess I’m kind of a traditionalist in that way.  The problem was that the sanctuary where we were married was adorned with windows along the back wall.  If I faced the way typical grooms face, I would have seen her too soon.  So, there I stood, with my back to the congregation as I waited for my beautiful wife to walk down the aisle.  I stood there waiting for the cue from my brother, my best man, to let me know it was the appropriate time to turn around.  He nodded and I did.  I turned around to face the one I love.

This was the story I shared as I preached last week of John’s call for repentance in the wilderness.  We are called to turn.  Turning is a major part of the dance of faith.  We are to be a people of turning.  But, Lord forgive me, I challenged John a little.  His message of repentance was to turn away from sin—to turn away from a negative.  I better think of our turning as turning towards a positive.  As I turned towards my bride, I think we are called to turn towards our Bridegroom.   We are the Bride of Christ and we are to remain focused and turned towards our love, Jesus.  Turning towards the one we love is different than turning away from the things we despise.  The motivation is different.

It is the practice and learned skill of keeping turned to Jesus that keeps us on the straight path.  And this is our preparation in Advent.  We are to be about ensuring that our hearts are turned appropriately and that we are partnering with the Spirit to help turn the world towards Jesus.  My favorite “new” hymn is the Canticle of the Turning.  The Refrain is: “My heart shall sing of the day you bring, le the fires of your justice burn.  Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn.”  By the grace of God and with our partnering, let’s turn the world to Jesus as we do the same with our own hearts.



One Comment leave one →
  1. 7December2011 12:08

    Thanks for this Scott! It reminds me of one of things I love most about presiding at weddings. . . when the groom sees his bride for the first time as she comes down the aisle. Their faces are priceless! That one split second when they first catch her eyes is like electricity sent through the room. I usually watch him as he watches her. . . I also love to watch the eyes of the faithful as they speak about their love for Christ- the bridegroom. It is quite precious.

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