I love Robert Frost's poem Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening. I can even quote the poem.
It is the picture of someone who notices the beauty of a snowy evening. There is nothing quite like it. The snow falls with an amazing silence. It changes the whole landscape. It captures the attention of the observer so that he can easily lose track of time and purpose. At first, only the horse knows they should be getting on with life. Eventually, the observer knows that this and gets on with his life.
I wonder if that is the fascination people have with the church. Do they think she is beautiful, with a serenity they cannot find anywhere else? Do they think she is something to watch but eventually must be left so that they can get on with life? Do they fail to realize that she is more real than the life that they are living? Do they know that she will exist beyond their time on earth?
The Church is the Bride of Christ. That is hard to grasp in many ways. Those who know Jesus as Savior compromise the Church. She is not a building or a denomination but a people. We, as the church, will become one with our Lord. We shall be with Him forever as His Bride. We shall be presented to Him spotless. This is all a part of our soteriology (salvation).
The woods do not belong to the observer in Robert Frost's poem. He had no part of them beyond watching. The poem ends:
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep.
Unlike these woods we must become what we are watching. We must become the snow that makes the woods beautiful. We are to put on the dress of the Bride. We are to prepare ourselves for our wedding.
Many will never understand today's blog. They will still stop by the Church with an appreciation of her beauty but never really become the Church. They will be guests at the wedding but not the Bride. They may have watched the Church with fascination for years. They have no idea that they are standing outside. They are lost in the falling snow.
Revelation 19:7-8 (ESV)
7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.