Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bridge Groom

I was writing in my journal as I usually do J and because my train of thought was interrupted for a millisecond I ran my eyes back over sentences I had previously written. By doing so I ran across a word I’d never before seen or written and it was “Bridge Groom”. Hmmm, I thought, what a “new” concept. “What in the world was I writing about?” is the question I can see in the wheels of thoughts turning in your head with excitement and wonder. (Beweave me, it pays to proofread your stuff!!) And somehow you knew I would not leave you floundering in suspense too long. Anyhooo, I was writing about a famous man who was a religious activist much like Martin Luther King Jr. and others like him. You know the ones who are ministers and preachers, but as they cry out against injustice they become political too, by default. And as a matter of fact this man, let’s call him JB for short, and to protect the "innocent" :->, said about himself “I’m not the Star of the show. I’m just His Ed McMahon”. Heeeeeeere’s JOHNNY!!!

His public career lasted a good one to two years and then he was incarcerated because somebody in authority ignored the “freedom of speech” clause in the declaration of independence. My mind was really on other things, but he came into my thoughts because he said “I’m not the Bridge Groom, just His friend.” Oh forgive me, I meant to say "Bride Groom." As I thought about this statement I realized that this man wasn’t trying to take the bride away from his friend. He was doing what a “best man” does: makes sure there is plenty of wine and that it is on time, and the reception hall is booked and paid for in advance. The best man also makes sure all the groomsmen have their outfits and that they arrive on time for the wedding rehearsal and dinner, and the wedding of course. He also is the liaison between the bride and groom by way of the maid and matron of honor, during the bride’s “hideaway” time from the groom. Depending on the wealth of the families coming together, there may be other things the best man is responsible for too, but most of all to attend or tend (comme tu veut) to the groom – making sure he’s dressed well, has the ring for the bride, making sure he’s on time and helping with his parents as well so he doesn’t have to worry about them. You get the picture. A true best man doesn’t just come along for the ride, party and glory. He is a servant to the Bridge, I mean the Bride Groom. Sorry about that continual typo. Just seems to keep popping up on my keyboard like that.

This JB really did his job well and too well for he was executed shortly after incarceration, and without a trial, public or private. Now that’s just not American, at least not in our times, even though we know that our American history is full of stories just like this one. Our current freedoms and laws were won and established on the backs and lives of many JBs: those who spoke out for justice and righteousness, those who died to their own egos and put before themselves Someone else “greater” than themselves; those who sacrificed their lives for the betterment of the many and the few, and never received their “reward” while breathing on this side of a tombstone.

Yet about this particular JB, Jesus the Christ said “there is no other person greater in the past - among those born of women" (up until that time), greater than JB – John the Baptist” (the baptizer). Luke 28:7 (Amplified) And we know Who IS the greatest after JB. So no matter how great people are, think they are, or others think they are, we might as well just stop trying because Jesus said that JB set the standard for greatness. His best man. Why? Well I think it’s due to several things, but this one sticks out to me the most: JB didn’t try to be the Bride Groom. He didn’t try to be the center of attention or the top dog. He didn’t try to usurp the affections of the Bride away from the Bride Groom, Who is Jesus the Christ. Hmmmm. He did the foot work for the groom.

Think about it for a minute. You’re about to be married. You’ve announced your engagement and you’ve asked your best friend to be your best man (or maid/matron of honor). But as time goes on, your friend begins spending more time with your fiancĂ© than normal. Calling her/him, visiting, sending cards, text messages, flowers and candy, but not from you. Hmmmm something ain’t right in Beverly Hills. Then your fiancĂ© begins acting differently with you. He/she becomes more distant and aloof, has nothing to talk about like before, or is always talking about your best friend and not you. Hmmmm. Something ain’t right in Tokyo either.

You see, John the Baptist, aka JB understood not only his place, but how important to his best friend (and cousin by the way) was the Bride. He knew he was only a Bridge for he introduced His best friend to the one He was going to marry! He never got between them. He just kept talking to them about each other, building them up in each other’s eyes and affections. He knew how in love with the Bride his cousin was BEFORE they ever met and he was determined to help them come together. The bride’s name is THE CHURCH. J Not a bunch of buildings or organizations trying to raise money for human empires, but the living, breathing organism of people – you and me, we who have received Jesus the Christ into our lives as our Savior and who have in turn given our lives to Him as love-slaves. Mary adored Him so much (in a pure way) that she washed His dirty, dusty feet with her tears, perfume and hair. Come on!! There’s got to be something special about this Man that makes you want to do that. The apostle John loved him so much, closer than his own brothers that he dared to recline on his lap (and risked being called gay by our generation) for he didn’t want to miss a heartbeat or the words coming from his mouth. That was some powerful love between men that had nothing to do with sex. It was all true spiritual love that saw beyond the flesh into the heart of God for something powerful on the earth for people – the ones He loved and continues to love today. You and me.

Jesus in the flesh was a man’s man – the epitome of manhood with his identity intact, no gender confusion issues here. Jesus in the flesh was also the perfect gentleman for every woman, no matter her background. He never embarrassed, abused or rejected them in public or in private, even though other men did. He was not afraid of private conferences with women and keeping their reputations unsoiled. As a matter of fact He was into restoring their bad reputations. Wow, what woman wouldn’t want to fall in love with a man who has spent time with Jesus and allowed Him to transform his personality to be like that? Or what man wouldn’t want a woman who has been touched and transformed by the character of Jesus the Christ and helped her be healed of her other men and “mommy and daddy issues”?

Now what I see is that His Bride is preparing for the wedding, but she’s not quite ready. Her “dress” has “stains and wrinkles” and needs to go to the “cleaners”. Also, there are many others vying for her attention, trying to take her away from the Bride Groom. They don’t want her to be ready for Him, yet they’re not in love with her, not really. They don’t want to love and care for her, they just want to use her for their own purposes - money, gifts, talents, anointing etc. The problem is they cannot see this in themselves for they think they’re doing the Bride Groom a favor. But they’re not. They’re modern day Pharisees, Sadducees and Lawyers, Priests and such with their own agendas and unresolved “mommy and daddy” and other issues going on, and they’re using their talents, time, positions, money and other resources to draw the Bride unto themselves. They think they’re pointing the Bride to her Beloved just because they use His name in their songs, sermons, and church names, but when it comes down to it, when you spend time with the Bride – the people – you see how far away from their Lover they’ve been drawn, enticed and lied to.

True leaders in THE CHURCH who are true best friends of the Bride Groom, no matter how gifted, or rich, or pretty, handsome, charismatic etc. you/we are, will not try to take the Bride away from the Bride Groom. We will not use our songs and dance, our programs and educations, titles and positions, etc. to lure her away from the One Who died for her. You are the church. I am the church. WE are the church! We are not the Savior, we’re just sisters and brothers and we need to understand our place and the GIFT of responsibility with which we’ve been entrusted to point each other to the Bride Groom. We are the BridGe Groom. J When people cross over, what and who will they meet on the other side?

“Like a bridge over troubled waters, I will lay me down.”