RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — My title would be HRH Princess Sheri of Wales. We would marry at Westminster, and I would be the first welcomed American into the British royal family. This was my plan at the age of 7, when I realized that princesses were real and that the chances of being a princess, though very improbable, were not impossible. Of course this has not been God’s path for me, but it does make this weekend’s wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle a more fascinating event.
Although very few around me will observe this event as closely as I will, in a greatly divided world, this wedding will be a time of unification.
The Telegraph estimated that two billion people observed Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding. We can only expect that just as many nations will tune in to see Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle.
This should remind followers of Christ not only of the wedding to come, but the eternal joining of earthly and heavenly kingdoms as they yield to God as King.
Our Groom and His bride
Since the beginning of time, a wedding has signified the merging of two lives, two bodies, and two souls. But this celebration — a common thread for all cultures — has another layer of meaning for Christians. New Testament writers employed marriage as a metaphor for our union with Christ.
The apostle John described our eventual union with Christ as a marriage, signaling an end to the division between God and His people. For Christians, weddings are not only a celebration of God joining a man and woman in joy and love, but a reminder of what is ahead for us. They are symbols of an eternal bond that is brought together by God and cannot be broken any more than God’s love for us can subside.
In this particular wedding, we see a princely groom marrying a woman who does not share his title or royal privilege. However, once joined with the prince, Ms. Markle will immediately receive a title fit for royalty and walk alongside him in his work, representing their earthly kingdom.
Like the new couple, those who believe in Christ have been raised with Him, sharing in His inheritance. Once we are joined with Him, we are meant to walk in a way that reflects His holiness and share in His work to bring others into His heavenly kingdom. In Christ, we gain both title and purpose, with a focus on expanding the church with spiritual offspring.
Multi-cultural wedding feast
According to an iNews poll, 19 percent of Americans are planning to tune in to watch the televised nuptials on Saturday, May 19. In their interviews, survey participants said they feel represented by the couple because of the couple’s racial and cultural diversity. The bride is an American with biracial parents whereas the groom is English and white. In a time when differences seem to divide, people are refreshed to see such a public display of unity.
Not only is the couple a picture of cultural diversity, but they have shown public encouragement of unification in the way they have planned their wedding. In a recent statement released by Buckingham Palace, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle formally invited members of the public to join in the wedding festivities.
In the statement, they insisted that they want to celebrate their wedding with “people chosen … from a broad range of backgrounds and ages.” It’s unlikely they intended to make this connection, but their desire reflects the apostle John’s vision when “a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language,” gathers to worship the Lord and be wedded to him (Revelation 7:9; 19:6–8).
Like the royal wedding, the final wedding of the Lamb and His bride will be an international celebration. Generational, racial, cultural and linguistic gaps will close as we all partake in the wedding feast together. Those who have wed themselves to Christ will sit and partake of the benefits of the Groom. And just as family and friends will gather to share their mutual love and memories at the royal couple’s reception, the church will gather and perhaps share personal stories of how they met the Groom and what He means to them.
With such a celebration ahead of us as believers, why would we not want to invite others as well? As Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wish to invite other races, tribes and tongues to share in their joy, we can feel the same excitement to invite others to the future celebration of our marriage to the Lamb.
As I did on the day Prince William married the now-Duchess of Cambridge, I will wake up early to watch the marriage of the future Prince and Princess Harry of Wales. Although I will not be Harry’s bride or share in his title or work, I can look forward to an even bigger and better union.
For now, I participate with the church by inviting others to the most glorious royal wedding ceremony the world will ever see.
Read other stories at imb.org.