Each quarter, I try to take some time to ask the Lord for a theme for the season. Oftentimes I’ll find myself drawn to a particular passage that we can explore.

Over the winter, we focused on Psalm 34, “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” Over those winter months, our apprentices had a lot of really positive encounters with the Holy Spirit and His goodness as we pressed into that passage.

Over our spring break, the Lord drew my attention to Psalm 45.

Psalm 45 is largely a prophetic description of Jesus. A lot of the imagery might be familiar to you, the psalm is addressed to a king with an everlasting Kingdom. (For extra fun, check out Revelation 19:11-20:6, and see how Revelation’s image of Jesus on a white horse, conquering his enemies and ruling over them, aligns with this psalm.)

But then a section in the second half of Psalm 45 talks about the queen. She’s described as being adorned with gold of Ophir (which is like the best stuff), that people will give her gifts, that her robes are interwoven with gold and with many colors. It says she’ll lead the people with joy and gladness.

That’s weird to prophesy about Jesus and then talk about a queen, right? As far as we know, Jesus wasn’t married. (And I think we would know if he was.)

So who is this queen?

Well, Jesus wasn’t married…but he’s going to be.

Throughout the Bible, the Church is referred to as the bride. Jesus, among others, used this imagery and talked about a time when the Church will be presented to God as the bride, and Jesus will be the groom.

So this beautiful woman of Psalm 45 who leads the world with joy and gladness is to be us, you and I collectively, as the Church, as the community of believers.

Neat, right?

I’ve noticed that when women get married, they make themselves look beautiful. All told, they’ll spend thousands of dollars on a beautiful white dress, they’ll get their hair professionally styled and maybe their makeup too. There will be particular shoes, and jewelry, and some kind of headdress just for this one particular day.

Why do women do that?

I can think of a few reasons.

Maybe they do it because they’re self-conscious about their appearance (you kind of have to be the star of your own wedding).

Maybe they do it because it’s just socially expected that they’ll do it.

But I bet most of them do it to delight the groom.

Melissa and I got married outside under a big tree, just beyond this little wooden bridge. We’ve now been married for eighteen years, but I can still remember just what she looked like when she stepped over that bridge with her father. I remember just how her dress looked, and how she smiled as she walked towards me.

Melissa’s always beautiful, but I can tell you from eighteen years of experience that she doesn’t just always wake up looking like that. Some time, effort, and expense went into that. I like to think that it was mostly on my account, she went to all that trouble with me in mind—for that one magical day when we would become as one person together.

As I reflected on Psalm 45, I saw that the bride is beautiful. She has adorned herself with beautiful clothing and jewelry.

I think some of the jewels and adornment upon her are songs, and short stories, and poems, and works of art.

I believe that part of what we do as Kingdom creatives is we adorn the bride. We make her beautiful.

That’s not just some way to give these useless artists something to do, but it’s actually a really important job. The Church is in the business of preparing herself for a wedding. Great commission aside, that’s what we’re doing.

Did you know that the first time in the Bible in which a human is said to be full of the Holy Spirit was the artist Bezalel?

In Exodus 35:30-31, shortly after the Israelites had left Egypt, way at the beginning of the Bible, God calls out Bezalel to lead the construction of the tabernacle, and it says that “he has filled him with the Spirit of God.”

An artist. A master of his craft. Imagine that. 1300 years before Pentecost.

Like an earthly bride, we can pursue beauty for the wrong reasons.

We can try to make our art because we’re self-conscious about the way Christians are perceived. We want to prove something about the Church, or buck expectations. (Been there.)

We can do it because it’s socially expected—it’s just the way things are, the way things have always been.

Or we can do it to delight the groom. We can do it because we can’t wait to see the look on His face.

I recommend that we die to ourselves and our own image, and that we create and make Christ’s Church beautiful out of our unbounded love for Jesus.

Yes, like Bezalel, we’ll continue to work together to master our craft. We’ll work together to honor the Great Commission and reach unreached audiences with books and media that will change lives.

But let us never forget the great and glorious day that approaches, when we, as a beautiful bride, will be wed to Jesus for all eternity.

To Him be the glory and honor and praise, forever and ever.

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