You are the Bridegroom
The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.
When it comes to worshiping Jesus, I would like to emulate John the Baptist. He teaches me to look at Jesus and know him as the bridegroom and myself as the friend of the bridegroom. As the friend of the bridegroom, I only know one joy and that joy is together with the bride hearing the voice of the bridegroom.
This is true for John in a special way. He has been called to witness to Jesus, to tell that the Father has a Son whom he dearly loves, and to proclaim that this Son is the bridegroom for the bride. This is how John enables me to discover that worshiping is also magnifying Jesus as the bridegroom and introducing him to the bride. Thus, it’s not about John or me. It’s about the bridegroom who is there for the bride. And I have the privilege of being a friend of the bridegroom, not so that I am the center of attention, but to focus all the attention on Jesus.
He must increase, but I must decrease.
The image of the bridegroom especially calls up a world of affection and unity, a world of desire and love. This is the reality we come into contact with when we learn to know and desire Jesus.
The Song of Songs, that love song so full of longing and delight, begins to resound in my heart:
My beloved is radiant and ruddy,
distinguished among ten thousand.
His mouth is most sweet,
and he is altogether desirable.
Song of Songs 5:10, 16
The New Testament metaphor of the marriage between Christ, as the bridegroom, and the church, as the bride, also gives new dimensions to my worship of Jesus:
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
The bridegroom completely gives himself to his bride. And the glory of the bridegroom becomes the glory of the bride. Loving and admiring Jesus begins to bear the fruit of holiness and purity.
Jesus, you are the bridegroom, the radiant Son of God, who completely gives himself to his bride and intensely longs for her. I want to love and admire you in your boundless and self-surrendering love for your congregation on earth. Create in this congregation and in me the glory of your purity and holiness.